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Uni student new rules - help needed

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Hi folks.  This is not a rant.  As per my other email, my daughter returned to uni on Saturday but her college emailed her last night (and plenty of others) saying 'go back home.'  This didn't sound right: sending students back, most probably from an area of higher infection, seems daft.  Lots of students will have gone back to uni to celebrate New Year and lots will have headed back last weekend.  

On Five Live now and they have repeated: 'the rules is students must stay where they are'.  My daughters college is wrong in telling them to go back home.  Tried searching for this new rule but cant find it.  Anyone seen it?  I will contact the college and let them know.  

BTW, my daughter and housemates took the (sensible) decision to stay put.

2
 WVRox 05 Jan 2021
In reply to mick taylor:

The guidance on Gov.uk is pretty clear  - but I suspect they hadn't written it anticipating students having returned early to party!

5
In reply to mick taylor:

Dunno - If i hear more I'll post but I feel your pain. My daughter is in her final year and really isn't sure about what she is allowed/advised to do.  <<smallrant>>All the communication she's had suggests that uni wasn't really planning for what Johnson might say until he said it - a perfect case study for a university with a respected business school to show how to plan for contingencies. Not.<</smallrant>>

In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

All:  found the  guidance, just having a 'being a bit thick' moment.

Whats odd is last week marsbar posted a link to The Guardian, and it contained, almost word for word, the text of the current rules (but the website article was quickly amended):

START>Universities

Those students who are undertaking training and study for the following courses should return to face to face learning as planned and be tested twice, upon arrival or self-isolate for ten days:

Medicine & dentistry

Subjects allied to medicine/health

Veterinary science

Education (initial teacher training)

Social work

Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled (your university will notify you if this applies to you).

Students who do not study these courses should remain where they are wherever possible, and start their term online, as facilitated by their university until at least Mid-February. This includes students on other practical courses not on the list above   END

 marsbar 05 Jan 2021
In reply to mick taylor:

The guidance suggests they stay where they are, and that they shouldn’t move back and forth.  

However it doesn’t say that they must not go home.  Personally I think it’s down to individual circumstances, and if she wanted to come home and stay put once she gets there I wouldn’t judge her. I would suggest that if she does then she isolate in her room for 10 days.  I seem to remember your daughter is in her 20s, so if she is fine where she is, then that’s great, but I can see why the college would feel it can’t support students who might not cope away from parents and in that case I can see why it’s best to send them home.  

From the guidance (these courses is medical students etc)

> Students who do not study these courses should remain where they are wherever possible, and start their term online, as facilitated by their university until at least Mid-February. This includes students on other practical courses not on the list above.

> If you live at university, you should not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time.

There is a pdf file on the gov.uk website and that is where I found this.  

Edit didn’t see that you’d found it until after I posted.  

Post edited at 10:08
1
 GrahamD 05 Jan 2021
In reply to mick taylor:

What isn't clear to me is what my daughter, who was living at her boy friends in England over the Christmas break, can or should return to University in Wales.

 Rob Parsons 05 Jan 2021
In reply to mick taylor:

> ...  Lots of students will have gone back to uni to celebrate New Year ...

If they did that, it's f*cking nuts.

3
 mondite 05 Jan 2021
In reply to marsbar:

> but I can see why the college would feel it can’t support students who might not cope away from parents and in that case I can see why it’s best to send them home.  

Yes given the problems last term and the fact the mental health issues and general frustration in a full lockdown will be building up I cant really blame the universities for trying to empty the place out.

 marsbar 05 Jan 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

I haven’t seen the Welsh guidance, the stuff above is English.

Can she study from where she is?   

 Jmacquarrie 05 Jan 2021
In reply to mondite:

While I agree with you on those points there is also the issue of university halls refusing to cancel or refund students for accommodation they are being encouraged to not use.

In reply to Rob Parsons:

> If they did that, it's f*cking nuts.

Celebrating at home with their housemates, rather than celebrating at home with parents. I can understand which would be preferable to many young adults.

Both are in the rules and if they are going back to University to live with these people anyway, what difference would it make (based on government advice at the time).

4
In reply to The New NickB:

Totally.  And throw in the fact that you are paying £££££'s rent.  And some students would have been savvy enough to go 'I'm going back to uni early before lockdown 3 is announced'.

2
 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to mick taylor:

Don't forget this all occurred because the government said they would not underwrite loses to Universities from empty accomodation. It was obvious that the new term would lead to disaster as Independent SAGE were warning back then (and now). Without the September fiasco, lockdown 2 would have been much less severe (and given backbench reiticence to lockdowns might never have happened). These hundreds of thousands of students are minor pawn sacrifices in the great Boris game of leadership.

https://www.independentsage.org/university_final_sept/

1
 Jim Hamilton 05 Jan 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

> What isn't clear to me is what my daughter, who was living at her boy friends in England over the Christmas break, can or should return to University in Wales.

It looks as though Welsh lockdown rules allow students from wherever to return to Welsh universities? Assume they will have notified her of arrangements?  

 NorthernGrit 05 Jan 2021
In reply to mick taylor:

The below is taken from a HE bulletin email I received yesterday. I think it summarises neatly the reasoning behind some of the 'strange' decisions Universities appear to be making:

"Here’s the problem - and it’s the same as it’s been since last May: if universities take matters into their own hands, and either plan only to deliver face to face teaching to those students who require it in order to graduate, until the vaccine is safely rolled out, they may be considered liable for the cost of the impact on all the students who have been told to stay at home.

If they wait patiently for government guidance, they’ll be issued with instructions at the eleventh hour, which they’ll have to scramble to implement, and which will mean that detrimental impacts to students and staff cannot be adequately foreseen and managed. But at least everyone is in the same boat and following external guidance, so can’t be blamed for the consequences."

 Jim Hamilton 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> These hundreds of thousands of students are minor pawn sacrifices in the great Boris game of leadership.

Alternatively thousands of youth have contracted Covid and aquired some sort of immunity with little affect on themselves whilst away from family contacts, and have been able to have some sort of social life!  

4
 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to NorthernGrit:

I'm much less supportive of VCs. They should have spoken out together, in public, on behalf of their students and staff. Many insisted on face-to-face teaching last term, when risks were well known, to reduce student complaints in non lab based subjects. Academics, admin and technicians were just expected to work much harder on teaching and support, as things take longer online, as well as still facing risk in class. Some Unis worked out sensible ideas on H&S  planning, like calculating staff covid ages and keeping the most at risk from direct contact, but it was far from universally applied and it often didn't apply at all to  some minimum wage contracted staff, like cleaners, hall staff and canteen staff.

 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

I think if you asked most students they would have rather have been at home since September (as they were in the last half of the last academic year). It's been pretty horrible being at University for large numbers of students, which you would know if you talked to student support specialists and academic tutors.  It's been the final straw for many student facing staff to retire as the evidence their particular Uni really doesn't care like they should has never been more obvious. Some universities have demonstrated good internal leadership, it was possible.

2
 Jim Hamilton 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> I think if you asked most students they would have rather have been at home since September (as they were in the last half of the last academic year). 

Not my experience with the students I know.  They were glad they hadn't been stuck in their parents home with occasional online lessons, missing out on university life, even if limited.  

 marsbar 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

I think the truth is in between.  Some would be happy with their friends and others happy to be at home with family.  

 wintertree 05 Jan 2021
In reply to NorthernGrit:

Bang on.  Passing the buck and subsequent abrogation of moral responsibility throughout.

 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

I guess the difference might be scale as an ex UCU rep I am still well connected to many of those in student support. The students you know must be lucky in their experience and wealth but still have much poorer value for money compared to those in pre pandemic situations.

 tjdodd 05 Jan 2021
 GrahamD 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

I read the English and Welsh rules this morning.   If she is in Wales, then she simply must avoid back and forth trips.

It's only an issue for her because she has an exam next week and she is banking on access to some course work which is at her digs.

Academic now.  She left England this morning and is now at her Uni digs in Aberystwyth. 

 neilh 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

100% agree with that. My daughter and her  flat mates were looking forward to getting back together again, even with online learning.

Personally I would prefer her to be amongst her peers and not stuck with us.

 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to neilh:

How does your 100% agreement help the students who have suffered? It's not enjoyable or not, its a range with way too many struggling (and online support struggling to help them).  Some students at my University enjoyed themselves so much they got £10,000 fines for running an illegal house party and were suspended from their studies on disciplinary regulations.

 neilh 05 Jan 2021

In reply to

Good grief you are touchy.

1
 mondite 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Jmacquarrie:

> While I agree with you on those points there is also the issue of university halls refusing to cancel or refund students for accommodation they are being encouraged to not use.

Yeah the treatment of students was and continues to be shit.  They do seem to be being treated as cashcows only by those making the top level decisions. I suspect if the contracts had allowed for refunds then the students would have been told they needed to come in.

1
In reply to mondite:

> They do seem to be being treated as cashcows only by those making the top level decisions.

Hasn't that been the case for years? Academia is highly commercialised nowadays.

Interesting to see the course types who are doing 'face to face' - looks like they want anyone who could bail the government out of the covid hole they've created to keep the NHS and schools running when all the real medics and teachers are sick or dead.

Post edited at 15:06
1
 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to neilh:

I'ts a major scandal with huge amounts of suffering; sensitivity to that i's the normal human  response (as opposed to emphasis on some people being happy to be there). I'm not getting at you... why would you know how bad things have been?

 Jim Hamilton 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> I guess the difference might be scale as an ex UCU rep I am still well connected to many of those in student support. The students you know must be lucky in their experience and wealth but still have much poorer value for money compared to those in pre pandemic situations.

No doubt there are those with mental health issues (the ones I know of are due to work pressure/dislike the course) but to say that most students would have preferred to be studying at the parental home since September is just wrong. 

 marsbar 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

I'm sure that all students would have preferred everything normal.  

Not being able to go to the pubs or to visit friends and being in lockdown with random flatmates is not going to be fun either.  

Its probably better for those who chose to live with friends and aren't living with whoever the university put them with.  

 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

It's the genuine impression I have, most but far from all on balance wished they were not at University paying rent pointlessly where discounts look less than likely and when in halls they are put in with people most would not have chosen to share with, which matters a lot more when all stuck inside together. My position might be biased as bad news travels faster than good amongst my colleagues. Where is your evidence of the opposite position coming from as a matter of interest?

Post edited at 17:47
 Jim Hamilton 06 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

Only the parent grapevine and family member who is a university lecturer and increasingly pastoral carer!  Despite the early news stories, many first years were mixing in and between residences and having a social life, including pubs etc. depending on tier. 

 Offwidth 06 Jan 2021
 Jim Hamilton 06 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

Not sure how it supports your view – why only 22% unlikely to return to student accommodation this term if teaching got worse with online only?

 Offwidth 06 Jan 2021
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

Most likely they don't plan to leave because they have to pay anyway (fees and accommodation). They have been trapped in a way by government policy and compliant VCs in this time of pandemic.

As for 'where is the evidence?' I've never seen concerns expressed across the student support front line at anything like the level the of the start of this academic year and the research report backs that up:

"Over half (53%) of students reported being dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their social experience in the autumn term.

Students responding to the SCIS reported lower levels of life satisfaction, life worthwhile and happiness, and higher levels of anxiety, compared with the general population through the OPN.

Results from three different surveys conducted during November 2020 conclude that more than half of students report that their well-being and mental health has worsened as a result of the pandemic."

 Jim Hamilton 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> Most likely they don't plan to leave because they have to pay anyway (fees and accommodation). They have been trapped in a way by government policy and compliant VCs in this time of pandemic.

I think you need to provide more research to make that leap.

> "Over half (53%) of students reported being dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their social experience in the autumn term.

Remarkably low considering the closure of student union social facilities, university faculty buildings, sports halls and clubs etc, but better I think for the majority than trying to do the course entirely online from the bedroom of their parents home.   

 Offwidth 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

Studying at home was far from the only choice. Students could have been allowed to defer a year if things were properly funded.  Even if I'm wrong and it's just a large minority it's very serious given the debts and disruption to their education and University experience. 

In contrast you provide no significant evidence that the majority are happy beyond anecdote.

The latest news

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/jan/08/foot-the-bill-for-refunding-student-fees-downing-street-told

 Offwidth 08 Jan 2021
In reply to all

The latest newsletters from UCU today implies there is complaince on government instructions of no face-to-face teaching for the first two months of 2021. The other relevant point is this:

"Despite the UK government's announcements, there have been a few disturbing reports from UCU branches that some employers are continuing to require staff to do work on-site that we believe could be done remotely. We expect all employers to review risk assessments in place as a result of recent developments, including the emergence of the new variant of the virus."

 Jim Hamilton 09 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> In contrast you provide no significant evidence that the majority are happy beyond anecdote.

The contrast is that you obfuscate with various other points and assume your opinion is evidence based truth but mine mere anecdote. 


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