Glasgow University will refund all students in halls of residence one month’s rent, along with a £50 payment for food.
The return of students to campuses across Scotland has seen a spike in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases. It’s forced hundreds into self-isolation, and led to the Scottish government and Universities Scotland to ask that students do not socialise in hospitality venues this weekend.
At Glasgow University, 124 cases of the virus were reported on Thursday 24 September, with the number expected to rise.
As a result, a test centre was established at the Murano Street halls of residence, which houses more than 1,000 students.
And the university has now said it will refund rent, as well as make a £50 food payment, to students. It will also initiate more drop-ins from student support staff.
The number of food parcels for those self-isolating in halls will also increase, along with cleaning materials, bedding and towels.
University principal Professor Anton Muscatelli said:
I hear the concerns of our students in residences and I appreciate how difficult this situation is for them. From today, we are rolling out significant extra support measures so they can more easily access food, health and wellbeing and other supplies.
We are offering everyone in our residences, regardless of whether they are isolating or not, a one-month rent refund to compensate for the disruption they are facing, and any financial hardship they may have encountered.
Professor Muscatelli added:
Our Living Support Team are also stepping up efforts to proactively contact students, check on their wellbeing and offer support.
To make sure everyone has access to hot and fresh food, we will work with providers to install mobile catering units and give £50 to each student for food and supplies.
This isn’t the start of academic life we would wish for anyone.
The principal also thanked those who were in self-isolation for “playing their part”.
On Friday 25 September, first minister Nicola Sturgeon apologised to students for the start of their academic year, but supported universities to take action against those breaking the rules “as a last resort”.
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