The presidents of NUS UK, NUS Scotland, NUS Wales and NUS-USI, alongside 120 students and student representatives have called on Education Ministers across the four nations to provide a plan to get students home for Christmas.
Their asks include:
- a plan to get students home for Christmas and other religious and significant events to be released as soon as possible, to give students and education providers time to prepare
- additional support for those who cannot or choose not to leave their term time address
- international students to be offered assistance to travel to their home countries if they choose to.
Larissa Kennedy, NUS UK National President, said:
“Students have been let down time and time again during this term. They have been lied to about how their courses would be delivered and forced back on to campus to continue paying rent. Now it is time for the governments to start to put this right and ensure they are able to travel home for Christmas.”
Becky Ricketts, NUS Wales President, said:
“There must be a clear and safe plan for the return of students to their homes over Christmas. This has been the most difficult and challenging time for students in years, and it’s vital that all four governments across the UK do what needs to be done to make the best decision for students and the community.”
Matt Crilly, NUS Scotland President, said:
“We need to see a clear and coherent plan from all four UK Governments that gets students home for the winter break – and urgently.
“This continued uncertainty does nothing for students’ mental health and wellbeing and the priority now needs to be ensuring that every student who wants to, can return safely home to their friends and families over the Christmas period.”
Ellen Fearon, NUS-USI President, said:
“The effects of this pandemic are already taking their toll on student mental health, and we have seen students struggle with extended periods of self-isolation with limited social contact. It is essential that we get the end of term right. This period is so important to so many people, and students are no different.”