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Coronavirus - Should the University's reopen?

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Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Apparently there's going to be a mass migration of over 1 million youngsters in the late teems to early twenties, throughout the country moving to universities.

I'm sure the universities themselves are as Covid proof as can be expected but can anyone really believe that a million young people, many being free from their parents eye for the first times in their lives, are going to be socially distancing in their halls of residence/house shares. etc and refraining from all the sort of stuff they do these days?

Perfect recipe for a Covid spike, people moving from places with high numbers of cases, such as say the north west/Yorkshire lockdown areas to university towns and city's with low/no cases and visa versa, kids from non effected areas going to places like Manchester (8th out of 315) and Leeds (18th) and bringing the virus back with them during home visits where no doubt they will be catching up with their mates!

Clearly the makings of the second wave.

I'm sure the kids will be fine and enjoy themselves - and why not, isn't that what life is all about but no doubt the numbers of new cases will shoot up.

Fwiw I've been monitoring what I think is really the key indicator in all of this and that is hospital admissions.

The fantastic news is that although new cases are set to rocket up, hospital admissions have steadily gone down - would you believe as at the 28th August (the latest figures I can verify) there are only 430 people in hospital with Covid in the whole of England - seems really, really low to me?

There's 255 in Scotland for comparison.

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/healthcare

Anyway my point is that we know the virus is out there but it no longer seems to equate the need for hospital care - I guess the young are catching it but it isn't knocking them down in any way.

I predict university opening will cause a big spread of the virus to parts of the country who seem clear of it up to now (watch out North Norfolk) but won't be such a grim reaper as such for most of us unless we are unlucky and already in the at risk/vulnerable class already.

Reading and Royal Holloway are probably the nearest two universities to where I live so doubt I'll be effected much by kids coming into my area and as my area is up there in new cases anyway I can't see many brining the virus back with them changing things much for me either - but I'm sure others will be in areas which may well suffer from the the kids moving in and out of the area where you and/or your love ones live.

Anyone got any thoughts?

Should the universities reopen or these days should they all do the lecturing via Zoom direct to the students family homes?

sunlight

sunlight
Andy Walker
Andy Walker
As a keen viewer of University Challenge, I speculate if the University that sits above the other one, upstairs from them, have an advantage.
The Gentleman from Oxford, the Captain, last week was a genius.

Corpus Christi Oxfod had a Gentleman called Webb. Watch this guy answer so many questions. He won it for them on his own!



I watched this episode last week, I watch them all.

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@sunlight wrote:As a keen viewer of University Challenge, I speculate if the University that sits above the other one, upstairs from them, have an advantage.
The Gentleman from Oxford, the Captain, last week was a genius.

Corpus Christi Oxfod had a Gentleman called Webb. Watch this guy answer so many questions. He won it for them on his own!



I watched this episode last week, I watch them all.
As do I although I still sort of expect them to say Bamber Gascoigne in the introduction even though Paxman's being doing it for ages.

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
I suppose it hangs on whether you think the students are adult enough to behave properly, or you think they are idiots and will let everyone, including themselves, down. I think the former, but with a few idiots chucked in, which could make a difference.
Just a thought, but how many schoolchildren are going back this term ?

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@gloswhite wrote:I suppose it hangs on whether you think the students are adult enough to behave properly, or you think they are idiots and will let everyone, including themselves, down. I think the former, but with a few idiots chucked in, which could make a difference.
Just a thought, but how many schoolchildren are going back this term ?

Nine million I read - but at least they will all be local to their area and not cross contaminating across the whole country as university students will have the capacity to do.

As for the uni students being adult and behaving properly, well obviously some/even many will but I think you will find the culture is for most of them to be off the parental leash for the first time and drinking, social interaction and having a whale of a time will be high on their list of things to do whilst there - and there's nothing wrong with that really, we all go through that sort of stage in our lives around that time of life.

I have no doubts the virus will spread because of it and some of the kids will unknowingly bring it back into their home communities and start up mini spikes there.

I don't think that will translate to significantly higher hospital admissions and deaths, at least initially, based on highly daily positive tests now but very low hospital admissions resulting - as most seem to have it without making them ill as such.

I guess what I'm saying is for all the old, sick and vulnerable life has to carry on has it has since all this started, even if lockdown and shielding has been lifted.

The virus will be out there and the vast majority won't be harmed by it but us few, if we caught it, could be very nasty for us.

Keep staying safe no matter what.

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Well you didn't have to be a genius to know that brining loads of kids, who are probably away from under the wing of their parents for the first time in their life's - and are in the precise age range of the ones spreading the virus - would probably end up in a big problem!

Matt Hancock has refused to rule out banning students from returning home at Christmas, to limit the spread of coronavirus outbreaks.

Boris Johnson has said universities have been given a "clear request NOT to send students home in the event of an outbreak, so as to avoid spreading the virus across the country".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-54278053

"Students have spoken of their worry and frustration at being trapped in their university halls, in a situation described by unions as "shambolic".

Up to 1,700 students at Manchester Metropolitan University and hundreds at other institutions, including in Edinburgh and Glasgow, are self-isolating following Covid-19 outbreaks.

In Manchester students are being prevented from leaving by security.

Universities UK said the wellbeing of students was "the first priority".

Robert Halfon, the conservative chairman of the Education Select Committee, said 3,000 students were in lockdown at universities from Dundee to Exeter.

He called for the government and its scientific advisers to reassure students and families by setting out the policy for England - and warned having students in lockdown at Christmas would cause "huge anguish".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54308329


To be honest I feel sorry for the kids, university and its social life and activities have become the norm as a rite of passage for many, from moving from being a child into adulthood but many/most are still immature and simply want to have fun and freedom - and who can blame them for that at their age?

Many/most won't be effected adversely from catching the virus but the measures to prevent the spread growing in the community in effect stops the whole university experience for them - they might as well just stay at home and have on-line tutoring as best they can.  What's the point in them going off to various towns and city's to be locked down and have to stay in - and pay rent and go into student debt for their accommodation for the privilege?

How many of the million or so of them are going to stay in lockdown there over Christmas if it comes to it, you can't issue fines to a million of them who haven't any money of their own to begin with, can you?

I understand the need to get people back to work to save the economy - and returning to universities is a part of that but it did seem to me that it might not be the wisest thing to do for a group of a million or so late teens/early twenties to travel through the country and expect them to self regulate and act responsibly - it's just not going to happen is it?

I don't know what the answer is, maybe there should be some sort of limit on travel so that the kids can only apply for places within say a 30 miles radius or something from their homes, at least it would limit spreads to local areas and not nationwide as it is now?

Perhaps a more depressing thought is are there even going to be jobs for the kids in two or three years or so when they've finished university?  If not, what's the point in going to end up in lockdown for three years of studying, run up a large debt and end up unemployed?

Hope it doesn't come to that though.

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Covid: Manchester Met University outbreak was 'inevitable'

Of course it was!!!

Sorry to hear how it obviously is effecting the young kids.


Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
I think the horse has already bolted on this one but good to see others belatedly think it's a big issue that needs to be addressed too.

Coronavirus: Consider pause to university return, says Labour

The government should consider pausing the return of university students with thousands of students already isolating amid Covid outbreaks, Labour has said.

Shadow education secretary Kate Green said the start of term should be delayed while an "effective, efficient testing system" is put in place.

Students have returned to many UK universities, with most having already started term or due to begin on Monday.

The Department for Education said it was working closely with universities.

Ms Green also called for a government promise that students will be allowed to return home for Christmas as it would be "unthinkable" that they could be locked in their halls and unable to see families, although she said "public health considerations" should always come first.

Coronavirus - Should the University's reopen? _112823676__104759292_seancoughlan_tr-nc

Thousands more students in England are turning up for the new university term this weekend - but the big question is whether they should be heading in the opposite direction and studying from home.

Is it wise or fair for universities to bring students back if they're at increasing risk of being in a Covid outbreak and having to self-isolate?

Accommodation blocks, with shared facilities and filled with young people wanting to socialise, have already seen a wave of outbreaks. So should the brakes be applied to stop this pattern repeating itself?

But after recruiting record numbers of students and promising them a mix of online and face-to-face teaching, it is going to be a very awkward U-turn for universities to switch back to the academic equivalent of working from home.

And would that mean refunds on accommodation and tuition fees?

There are likely to be some chaotic days ahead - and some big decisions to be made about whether to cut numbers on campus. And students must wonder how they've gone from being cooped up at home all summer to now being cooped up in university.

More here if anyone is interested -

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54313054

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
It's absolutely stupid and typical of this weak government on several levels especially not thinking it through properly - or not being in touch with reality, I'm not sure which.

Like their idiotic line on Brexit, they've painted themselves into a corner again. What now? Send them home again? Or ban them from going home for life? Neither. They will just be a vehicle to take Covid to every corner of the land because they will mix and they will go back to their communities.
Heightened potential for civil unrest to boot. 
Like Sluffy, I feel sorry for the kids - and what it must be doing for them psychologically is plain scary. Hopefully the revolution will be peaceful.

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Another day up to 40 universities now!

Covid: About 40 universities report coronavirus cases

About 40 universities around the UK have now reported coronavirus cases and thousands of students are self-isolating as the new term begins.

The University of Aberystwyth is the latest to suspend face-to-face teaching to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

But the prime minister's spokesman said students would be able to go home for the Christmas break.

In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon said ensuring students could go home at Christmas would be a priority.

Coronavirus - Should the University's reopen? _114667851_studentreuters

There are no official figures from the government, regulator or Universities UK - but a tracking of local reports suggests about 40 universities have had Covid cases so far - out of about 130 universities in total.

Universities are stuck in their own tight corner. They're under pressure from lecturers to switch to all online teaching and get students home, rather than create a loop-tape of Covid outbreaks.

But that would provoke angry demands for refunds over accommodation and fees.

Universities cherish their autonomy, but in this case it might feel as though they're waiting for someone else to make a decision for them.

Full article here -

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54322935


I would imagine that ALL universities that are open to students being on or around campus will sooner or later report cases.

From my neck of the woods it would seem cases at Eton college (kids returning from foreign holidays with their parents) and Royal Holloway students have indeed produced an initial local spike in the area.

The bigger problem will be when students through the UK return to their homes where infection rates might still be low, with a little (unwanted) present for their community!

Christmas, or perhaps more accurately the two or three weeks following it, is going to see a large spike in cases, unless someone bites the bullet now, while they can and make some very difficult and unpalatable decisions.

Seems the most obvious one being, send them all home and do online teaching - which would have been probably the least worst option in the first place imo.




Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Anybody surprised?

I'm not.

Children (for that's what the are as they aren't mentally mature even if they are at university) just being children.

Coventry University students 'flout Covid-19 rules in party'



The university is "deeply concerned" over a video of the party and condemned the "blatant breaches" of rules.

Coventry University said it "strongly condemns the blatant breaches of the rule of six and other guidelines as they risk the health of our students, colleagues and the communities in which we are located".

Ian Dunn, the university's Provost, described the footage as "outrageous and deeply unfair".
He told the BBC the university was taking the incident "very seriously" and he was confident its code of conduct had been breached.

Nido, which runs the halls, said it had restricted visitors to the building and stepped up security following the gathering.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-54349548

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
News from Newcastle THURSDAY

Students admit lying to break coronavirus law as they party in Newcastle

Newcastle University students have admitted to lying about being in the same household to get into bars together. As of yesterday, new coronavirus restrictions in the North East make it illegal to meet people from other homes indoors, in a bid to tackle a high rate of infections. But that didn’t deter scores of students taking to Newcastle city centre to party, and not everyone seemed concerned by the new rules. Bethany Melvin, 22, who studies psychology at Newcastle University, was out for a night on the Toon with a group of friends last night. She said: ‘I want to play out and I want to do what I want to do. It’s not very nice for us as me and my friends live at different ends of the city. Visit our live blog for the latest updates Coronavirus news live ‘We went into Revolution de Cuba and they asked us if we were in the same household but we obviously lied. Some places though don’t always ask we’ve found. ‘I live in Jesmond in Newcastle and it’s like nothing happened. My friend went out last night and she couldn’t get in anywhere because it was so busy.
‘Once you’re actually inside you do feel quite safe. You can’t mix but everyone comes together when you pour out at the end of the night.’ Bethany’s best friend Eve Drury, 21, from Low Fell, said she doesn’t think a lot of the new rules ‘make sense’. She added: ‘It’s our friend’s birthday so we’re not following the rules to miss that. I just think places want business, and they aren’t really going to be bothered about much else. ‘Where I live and it’s absolutely dead and there’s no one there. There’s no one out and the high street is deserted.

https://metro.co.uk/2020/10/01/students-admit-lying-to-break-coronavirus-law-as-they-party-in-newcastle-13355762/?ito=cbshare

News from Newcastle FRIDAY

Posted at 17:00

More than 750 students test positive in Newcastle

News from the English city of Newcastle now, where some 770 students at Northumbria University have tested positive for Covid-19.

A spokesperson for the university said 78 of the affected students were showing symptoms.

"These students are all now self-isolating. Their flatmates and any close contacts are also self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance and have been advised to book a test as soon as possible should symptoms appear," the university said.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-54382914

Words fail me...

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
They're rutting FFS. Zero chance of keeping (a proportion of) them apart.
Inevitable , but not in the eyes of this government apparently.
So out of touch with the people.
Or else there's a darker plan affraid

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Just found this that is already a week old but even then university positives for the worst English areas (not towns but wards within the towns) account for NINE out of the top 30 places!

Indeed those more knowledgeable about areas in towns like Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, etc, may even be able to pick out other places on the list as being well known student living areas too no doubt!

See places 2, 9, 10, 11 (see number 9 as it most be university students relayed) 12, 16, 20, 23, and 26 (contains Durham University) 

Coronavirus - Should the University's reopen? 0_covidtable

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/exeter-university-coronavirus-covid-19-4582051

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@Sluffy wrote:Just found this that is already a week old but even then university positives for the worst English areas (not towns but wards within the towns) account for NINE out of the top 30 places!

Indeed those more knowledgeable about areas in towns like Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, etc, may even be able to pick out other places on the list as being well known student living areas too no doubt!

See places 2, 9, 10, 11 (see number 9 as it most be university students related) 12, 16, 20, 23, and 26 (contains Durham University) 

Coronavirus - Should the University's reopen? 0_covidtable

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/exeter-university-coronavirus-covid-19-4582051
Basically that's the area around Manchester Uni that I used to live in - take care Norpig - it's close.

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
My in-laws live in Fallowfield and we aren't far away either. Fallowfield is student central so no surprise its top of the list and all the Manchester ones have a big student population.

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
I've just googled Sheffield University and then the area Ranmoor and Endcliffe (see number 4 in the list above) and guess what - yip, University accommodation!

https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/accommodation/ranmoor-endcliffe

Wouldn't surprise if most if not all on the list is university related.

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
And again - No 29 on the list, Birmingham, Selly Oak -

https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/study/birmingham/city/selly-oak.aspx

And another No 21, Liverpool Wavertree South -

Wavertree is one of the areas in south Liverpool populated by students of Liverpool's three universities, especially the Smithdown Road area.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wavertree

also

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/best-areas-students-live-liverpool-16137152

And another one No 15, Sheffield University, Broomhall -

Student Accommodation in Broomhall, Sheffield | UniHomeswww.unihomes.co.uk › Student Properties › Sheffield
It's ideally located just between the two universities, so it's perfect for students studying at both Sheffield Hallam and the University of Sheffield

https://www.unihomes.co.uk/student-accommodation/sheffield/broomhall

Again No 17, Leeds University, Hyde Park -

By joining us at Leeds you are joining a diverse and culturally rich community, including the wider communities of Leeds...

...Whether you are living in Headingley, Hyde Park, Burley Park, Woodhouse or somewhere further afield, you will be living amongst a culturally, economically and socially diverse community.

https://students.leeds.ac.uk/info/10410/your_time_in_leeds/758/get_involved_with_your_community

Yet again No 19, Nottingham University - Dunkirk and Lenton -

Dunkirk is a residential area of Nottingham, England which is located to the south east of the University of Nottingham and the Queen's Medical Centre. It is in the electoral ward of 'Dunkirk and Lenton'...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunkirk,_Nottingham

Same area -

Coronavirus: Was £10,000 student party fine too harsh?

The 19-year-old was handed a £10,000 fine by police for refusing to shut down a birthday party attended by more than 50 people when he was asked.

An explanation for the law-breaking get-together, in Harlaxton Drive, Lenton, was provided by the organiser himself in a letter of apology sent to neighbours in the wake of the party.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-54146746

Next one No 18, Nottingham University, Radford -

University investigation into 'gatherings' around student flats in Radford

Complaints have been made over 'atrocious' noise

https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/university-investigation-gatherings-around-student-4562623

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