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Stay Away If You Can, Surrey Uni Students Told

Published on: 7 Jan, 2021
Updated on: 9 Jan, 2021

University of Surrey students are “strongly encouraged” to remain at their vacation accommodation until late January or early February, minimising travel to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

This is government advice to universities nationally. But that does not apply to students who have already booked travel, which cannot be easily changed, or have other exceptional reasons to return to campus.

The university website says: “We have taken the decision to move all teaching and revision sessions to online-only from Monday, January 4 until the start of Semester 2. All assessments and examinations will continue to be delivered online as planned.”

Courses of Health Sciences, Veterinary medicine, Film and Video Production and parts of the Guildford School of Acting, where face-to-face teaching is essential, will continue.

And all student support services, including the library and other study spaces, will remain open as usual and be available online and face-to-face.

Dedicated rooms will be available for students to book for exams and catering options will also be available with Covid-secure measures.

Students returning to campus over the next six to eight weeks will be required to take an asymptomatic test at the Surrey Sports Park centre.

All university staff who can work from home are being asked to do so, in line with previous guidance.

William Royer a second-year, International student, studying physics, said: “Even though we did receive an email on December 31 advising us to delay returning to campus, I had already arranged travel to come back on the 4th.

“I understand it’s difficult to predict how to manage everything with constant changes to the law, but I would have liked a little more notice so I might have been able to cancel my train.

“Other than that, the university has been helpful by keeping facilities like the library open, so I think they are still catering to students well.”

Emma Carson a UK student studying hospitality and tourism management, said: “The university telling people to remain home for now is a smart move. This is the exam season, so being on campus is not really necessary.

“Whatever the university and its students can do to reduce infection numbers is obviously going to be put above anything else. Even if we have to suffer right now, I think it’ll be worth it by spring, especially with the new lockdown.”

And law student Alex Goddard added: “Because I live on campus, I’m mostly worried about where the money I’ve already spent on accommodation has gone.

“I’m staying home, as advised in the update, until February, and for the entirety of January, I’ve already paid for a room that I’m not even using.

“Plus, with lockdown announced, I think most in-person classes will be cancelled, so there’d be little point in going back to campus. So, I definitely expect some sort of refund.”

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