“In many ways, this was an accident waiting to happen … the real risk of returning to college,” said Professor Stephen Reicher, a St Andrews scholar who advises both the British and Scottish governments on pandemics. It was pretty clear that it was. “
Professor Reicher and another expert adviser to Nicola Sturgeon, Devi Sukarno, publicly talked about the need for extensive Covid testing when students returned, but this was never done. ..
By August 31 at the latest, a draft government guidance for Scottish universities stated that “work and research that can be done remotely must do so.”
This would mean that many students didn’t have to go to college to attend the course, but that changed at the last minute.
The University College Union has proposed that changes have been made to allow colleges fearing financial catastrophe as a result of Covid-19 to charge students for accommodation.
Carlo Morelli of UCU Scotland said:[It meant] Students are said to be unable to obtain a degree and study remotely. If you don’t come to campus, you will miss your studies.
“And if you’re telling students that you have to come to campus, they’ll have to take advantage of the accommodation provided to them, so to get students to come and get to their place. There was a push from the university accommodation. “
Financial analyst Louise Cooper said the number of students has skyrocketed in recent years and the university has handed over its real estate portfolio to private developers.
However, she said the “risk” of empty properties is generally borne by the university.
“The underlying model requires a high occupancy rate, there are students there, and we pay weekly and monthly rents,” she said. “As usual, you have to obey the money.”
The University of Edinburgh did not reduce the capacity of the hall, but Vice-President Peter Mathieson said the decision to bring students back was not economical.
“It was a decision based on our belief that we wanted to provide the best student experience possible,” he said.
Her college minister, Richard Rockhead, previously described financial concerns about loss of accommodation income as “considerations” that were considered when setting guidance.
But he told the BBC that there is no “hidden agenda” that leads to blended learning guidance.
He said: “We did our best. We all deal with very difficult situations where there are no easy choices, so we look back and think we made a mistake. Accept. “
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