Universities UK releases guidance on self-isolating students

The guidance is part of a wider UUK commitment to support student wellbeing and education as students adjust to the challenges posed by the virus. 

“All students deserve the right support from universities”

UUK’s checklist builds on previous guidance published to reaffirm and clarify the actions universities should consider to best support students’ physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

“All students deserve the right support from universities to ensure that they can continue with their education during this pandemic,” said Julia Buckingham, president of UUK and vice-chancellor of Brunel University London.

Buckingham explained that universities are committed to supporting student and staff safety and wellbeing, including implementing many additional measures to increase care and support.

“This is a very challenging time with Covid-19 cases rising in many communities.

“All universities are working in partnership with their local authorities and public health bodies to adapt to the changing local circumstances, to implement outbreak response plans effectively to protect their communities, and to keep the measures in place to reduce risks under review to ensure that they are effective,” she added. 

The 22 point list explains that “universities will support students who self-isolate and may wish to use the following checklist as a guide for that support”. 

Suggestions for institutions include that they stay in regular, practice and personal contact throughout the self-isolation period and making sure that students know how to access local NHS services. 

In a statement, UUK said that it is committed to ensuring the educational and social experience that “this generation of students deserves”.

“We have worked hard to provide a safe start to the new academic year, offering a blend of online and in-person learning in Covid-safe settings, implementing national guidance on accommodation and risk-assessed social interaction,” the statement said. 

“We will ensure that, when outbreaks occur, students are fully supported to self-isolate,” it added. 

Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of UUK said that the organisation understands that this is a very difficult time for many students. 

“Self-isolation is key to containing the spread of Covid-19. Where it is necessary for students to self-isolate, university staff and students’ unions are making huge efforts to take care of both their physical and emotional wellbeing, including access to testing and health care, mental health support, continuing learning online, safe social interaction, food deliveries, laundry, and financial support,” he added.

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