University of Sunderland urges students to stick to lockdown as government says students cannot return to campus until mid-May
The University of Sunderland has urged students to continue following lockdown rules after it was confirmed that they could not return to campus until mid-May.
Despite lockdown restrictions easing, it has been confirmed on Wednesday, April 14 that university students in England will not be allowed to return to campus until May 17 at the earliest.
For many students, the current academic year has consisted mostly of remote learning and this looks set to remain the status quo as they enter the exam period.
In light of today’s announcement, the University of Sunderland is urging their students to continue to follow the Government’s guidance surrounding Covid-19 until further notice.
A spokesperson for the University commented: “We continue to monitor and follow the government’s guidance on the easing of lockdown restrictions, including which students can return to campus and when.
"We have advised our University community that many restrictions are still in place and we all must continue to follow the rules to help keep infection rates low and the roadmap out of lockdown on track."
The president of Universities UK (UUK) has branded the decision to delay the return of students as “really disappointing news”, highlighting that this time of year is already difficult due to the pressure of exams and other deadlines.
Speaking on Wednesday, April 14, Professor Julia Buckingham said: “This is a very stressful and difficult time of year for students, the exams are coming up, and this is a time when students need to have contact with their teachers, they want to benefit from being able to have those one-to-one conversations with teachers, as the exams are approaching.
“We know very well that there’s good evidence from a number of studies, young people’s mental health and wellbeing have suffered incredibly during the pandemic and we know that students are better when they are with their friends and of course, that’s what they want.”
Professor Buckingham also raised the issue to Times Radio that universities had “invested millions of pounds” in making campuses Covid safe.