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Higher Education: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN 179565, tabled on 12 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the guidance issued by the Government entitled COVID-19 Response: Spring 2021, on what date his Department plans to (a) announce and (b) conclude the review into the return of students in higher education that do not need to take part in practical teaching and do not require access to specialist facilities or equipment as part of their studies.

Answered on

15 April 2021

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.