‘Let us out’: Isolating students hang window protest signs

Support us and go ad-free

Students isolating in their university halls of residence have been communicating with the outside world via signs in their windows saying “Let us out” and “Send beer”.


Thousands of students have been forced to self-isolate following a surge in cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) at universities including Manchester Metropolitan, Glasgow, and Edinburgh Napier.

1,700 people were told to stay in their rooms at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Birley Campus and Cambridge Halls for 14 days after 127 tested positive for the virus.

The signs have called on people to send help and food
The signs have called on people to send help and food (Peter Byrne/PA)

Students have resorted to using sticky notes and signs in their windows, including some which asked for a tuition fees refund, and others which questioned why they were paying £9,250 a year for university courses.

An email from the university initially asked all students to remove their signs, however, a later tweet from  MMU apologised for this.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The university said:

We apologise for the message sent to our students last night about posters in windows, it didn’t reflect the University’s view.

We respect the rights of students to express themselves, but as requested by @gmpolice the posters must not break the law or they’ll have to be removed.

Sign on a window at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Birley campus
Sign on a window at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Birley campus (Peter Byrne/PA)

On Monday, the University of Exeter asked students not to meet indoors with anyone who is not part of their household, for the next 14 days. Education secretary Gavin Williamson is expected to make a statement in the Commons on 29 September.

At least 25 institutions have seen confirmed cases of the virus, according to university statements and local reports.

Support us and go ad-free

Do your bit for independent journalism

Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.

We need you to help out, if you can.

When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.

You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.

In return you get:

  • Advert free reading experience
  • Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
  • 20% discount from our shop


The Canary Fund us