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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Guidance Published for Safe Return to Colleges and Universities

New guidance has been published to help Scotland’s colleges and universities prepare for a safe and phased return to campus.

The guidance has been developed in partnership with colleges, universities, the Scottish Funding Council, trades unions and student bodies.

Institutions are planning for a phased return with a blended model of remote and limited on-campus learning in Phase 3 of the Scottish Government’s route map.

Essential preparations can already take place, while on-campus university research and home moves for student accommodation can resume from 29 June, 2020.

Further and Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“Scotland’s colleges and universities are working hard to ensure the safest possible environment for staff and students returning to campus.

“This guidance will support institutions to do that by setting out clear expectations and practical approaches to public health and health and safety, including physical distancing.

“Throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Scotland’s colleges and universities have been at the forefront of supporting the country, most visibly in supporting the NHS and social care sectors.

“That has included thousands of students joining the health and social care workforce, the contribution of staff, equipment and resources to COVID-19 testing capacity, and the refocusing of existing research capacity to address the pandemic across medical, engineering and other disciplines, as well as community efforts to support the most vulnerable members of society.

“The flexibility colleges and universities have shown so far has demonstrated that they are well-equipped to provide a safe environment for staff and students while supporting their students in their studies and ensuring the highest quality of learning and teaching.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP added:

“Young people - as well as mature students - attending Ayrshire College and other colleges and universities, will be pleased to get back to a sense of normality.

“The insecurity brought about by the coronavirus has of course also taken away a lot of excitement for those who passed their exams this year and had been looking forward to further and higher education.

“I remember how exciting it was when I graduated from secondary school and went off to study Economics at Stirling University. I would have wished that for this year’s young students too, and am glad that at least some of that experience making new friends on campus will be there in a safe and responsible way.”

Separate guidance is also being published today for laboratories and research facilities, including those run by private businesses.

Colleges and universities have continued to provide essential services on accommodation for students throughout the lockdown. This has included protocols for the isolation of individuals if necessary under public health advice. The Scottish Government continues to update its guidance for students on moving from accommodation.


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