Call for students to return to campus and accommodation
University chiefs are calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to allow
students to return to their campuses and accommodation this month.
The call comes after he failed to mention their plight in his latest
While non-essential shops, hairdressers and gyms as well as theme parks can
re-open from April 12, nothing was said about University return dates.
Students have not been able to return to their campus or university
accommodation since January - unless they are studying for a qualification
that requires in-person teaching, for example, medicine.
Date for students to return
Now university vice-chancellors are urging the Government to give a date
for students to return as England starts to open up.
The president of Universities UK, Prof Julia Buckingham,
has written to the Prime Minister urging him to provide urgent clarity on
when students can return.
In response, the Government says it will review the options once the Easter
holidays have ended.
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: "It has been a difficult
time for students, and we are committed to getting students back to
university soon as the public health situation will allow."
Also, a survey from the Higher Education Policy Institute
has found that more than half of students say they are not expecting to
have any more face-to-face teaching in this academic year.
However, two-thirds of students say they are currently living in their
normal term-time accommodation.
Financial reimbursement from their student landlords
In addition, those students say they have not received any financial
reimbursement from their student landlords or university for rent paid
during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The survey found that just 19% of students have been reimbursed for their
The managing director of Accommodation for Students, Simon
Thompson, said: "Student landlords have been left wondering yet again when
things will return to normal for them.
"While it is good news that the end of the Covid-19 lockdown is in sight,
student accommodation providers are looking for support and information
that will help their business."
Unite sells student accommodation in five cities
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Unite Group, the
student accommodation developer, has sold eight buildings to Aventicum Real
Estate for £133m.
The student accommodation blocks contain 2,284 beds and are in
Wolverhampton, Coventry, Exeter, Birmingham and Manchester.
This deal is part of the developer's programme to cash-in assets worth up
to £300 million for reinvestment in mid- and high-ranking university towns