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Hundreds of students crowd into the halls of Coventry University for illegal late-night raves


Shocking footage shows hundreds of students climbing ping-pong tables and romping around a Coventry University apartment block on Tuesday night.

It is believed that at least 200 students were crammed into a common room at Arundel House near the main Coventry University campus, ignoring social distancing guidelines and the Rule of Six.

Some night owls could be heard screaming while a group of male students climbed a ping pong table while they sang along to the booming music.

The block of flats is just a two-minute walk from the campus and is also close to the city center.

A spokesperson said Coventry University, which has confirmed 5 cases of coronavirus, was aware of the incident and that any student found to be in violation of the university's code of conduct could face disciplinary proceedings.

The footage was shot despite the coronavirus wreaking havoc in universities across the country.

Up to 4,000 students across the UK are now self-isolating for a fortnight after more than 500 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in at least 32 universities, although Coventry is believed to have no lockdown.

It comes as:

  • & # 39; Invisible Man & # 39; Gavin Williamson breaks cover to confirm that some students will need to self-isolate for two weeks at the end of the semester before they can go home for Christmas.
  • Teachers say the government should introduce "nightingale classes" as the latest numbers show that one in six state secondary schools failed to fully open last week due to Covid.
  • Labor critics criticize Boris "gross incompetence" and urge him to "get a grip on confusing lockdown measures" after prime minister apologized for "wrong speaking" at clumsy explanation of "rule of six";
  • More than 500,000 people in North Wales are banned from leaving their region to take action against Covid. The first Welsh minister calls on Boris to take similar action in England.
  • The UK sees 7,143 more coronavirus cases and 71 deaths as infections rise 45% in a week and deaths in England and Wales rise 40%.
  • Figures show that currently only 1,800 of 110,000 hospital beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients.

A group of male students climbed a ping pong table while they sang along to the booming music

Some night owls could be heard screaming

Some night owls could be heard screaming while a group of male students climbed a ping pong table while they sang along to the booming music

The University of Exeter was the last to put in place a "soft lock" on its students yesterday afternoon, telling them not to meet in other people's homes and only to mingle with people in their household.

It is believed that more than half of the cases confirmed in Exeter in the past week can be traced back to the university.

There are 1,700 students blocked at the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) locations in Birley and Cambridge Halls. All lectures, seminars and courses for new students at the university are now online for the next 14 days.

Meanwhile, Gavin Williamson confirmed that some college students will have to cut their tenure and self-isolate for a fortnight in order to be able to go home for Christmas.

The government had come under fire for handling the pandemic as it spread to college campuses. Freshmen across the country have been locked in their halls and told to isolate only with those they live with.

Photos of students posting signs on the windows of their apartment blocks have been widely shared on social media while others have sought help with groceries and supplies.

The number of students trying to get a grocery delivery means some are slowly running out of groceries and parents coming into the halls with grocery bags.

Angry parents have called for help, with demands from across the political spectrum for tuition reimbursement.

A spokesman said Coventry University is aware of the incident and any student found to be in violation of the university's code of conduct could face disciplinary proceedings

A spokesman said Coventry University is aware of the incident and any student found to be in violation of the university's code of conduct could face disciplinary proceedings

A spokesman said Coventry University is aware of the incident and any student found to be in violation of the university's code of conduct could face disciplinary proceedings

An investigation is underway to find the party's organizers. The police have closed the common areas in the apartment blocks and increased security in light of the gathering last night

An investigation is underway to find the party's organizers. The police have closed the common areas in the apartment blocks and increased security in light of the gathering last night

An investigation is underway to find the party's organizers. The police have closed the common areas in the apartment blocks and increased security in light of the gathering last night

The footage was shot despite the coronavirus wreaking havoc in universities across the country

The footage was shot despite the coronavirus wreaking havoc in universities across the country

The footage was shot despite the coronavirus wreaking havoc at universities across the country and banning thousands of students

The block of flats is just a two-minute walk from the campus and is also close to the city center

The block of flats is just a two-minute walk from the campus and is also close to the city center

Pressure on universities to reimburse tuition is mounting as thousands of students face lockdowns, online courses, and the prospect of Christmas in their halls.

Tory MPs said it was "madness" that the country's universities are charging the same fees for "second-rate" learning.

Despite the ongoing argument, the students showed no fear of contracting the killer virus on Tuesday evening.

An investigation is underway to find the party's organizers. The police have closed the common areas in the apartment blocks and increased security in light of the gathering last night.

The government should introduce "nightingale classes," teachers say

Union leaders have urged the government to create "nightingale classes" as the number of schools that can be fully opened due to Covid-19 has decreased.

The latest government figures showed that one in six state secondary schools couldn't fully open last week – most couldn't because of the coronavirus.

Schools are considered not fully open if they are unable to personally teach all students throughout the school day and have asked a group of students to self-isolate.

Latest school attendance statistics show that around 84 percent of government-funded secondary schools were fully open on September 24 – eight percent less than a week earlier.

Now heads of the National Education Union (NEW), the UK's largest education union, have once again urged the government to set up nightingale classes to get all the country's students back into class.

They say the Nightingale class would be similar to the government's Nightingale hospital system – where, at the start of the pandemic, pop-up hospitals were set up in conference centers to cope with an expected surge in hospital admissions.

The joint general secretary Dr. Mary Bousted said, “With the number of full secondary schools open in just two weeks, it is clear that the government is now getting a grip on the situation.

& # 39; It is doubtful whether the urgency of the situation has stood for either (Prime Minister) Boris Johnson or (Education Secretary) Gavin Williamson, who must now ensure schools and colleges are able to deal quickly and effectively with outbreaks, who perform locally.

“This doesn't just start and end with testing, although this situation is bad enough.

“We need to see retired, cared for, and newly qualified teachers recruited to reduce class size.

"Nightingale classes will be necessary to expand the classroom – we have been demanding that since June."

A statement issued this afternoon by Coventry University said: “We are aware of an incident in a private block of flats that was captured in a video that was shared online.

& # 39; We are deeply concerned about the scenes in the video and we strongly condemn the apparent violations of the Rule of Six and other guidelines as they endanger the health of our students, colleagues, and the communities in which we are.

“We introduced a code of conduct for students and shared it extensively with them before the weekend.

“This Code of Conduct makes it clear that failure to adhere to the university and government's health, safety, and wellbeing requirements is a violation of university disciplinary regulations and may be treated as misconduct.

& # 39; If anyone involved in the video is found to be a Coventry University student and is in violation of the Code of Conduct, we will take appropriate action.

A Coventry Police spokesman said: “We visited Arundel House today (September 29) after reports of a large gathering of students early in the morning. It is believed that around 200 people were present in a common room.

& # 39; We will investigate the video surveillance and take action if it turns out that this was a planned party.

& # 39; We got in touch with the management of the student residence block and they have agreed to close some common areas and increase security.

"We have also set up a safer student booth at Arundel House tomorrow to review the CoVID-19 regulations and what happens if those regulations are violated."

A spokesman for NIDO, which runs Arundel House, said: “We were made aware of a major social gathering at our Coventry residence last night.

Immediate steps were taken to deal with the gathering, including calling the police for help. Unfortunately, the police were unable to attend at this time. We know they are under great strain due to the number of similar incidents both in Coventry and at the national level.

& # 39; We are in close contact with FutureLets at Coventry University and support the local authorities in their investigations.

& # 39; In line with government recommendations, we are strengthening our zero-tolerance policy of mixing different households and have put in place strict Covid-19-related measures, including installing plexiglass screens at reception and hand sanitizing stations throughout the property as well as posting social media distancing guidelines and actions, ensuring that all employees outside of the office wear PPE, and providing regular updates to residents on the latest government guidelines.

& # 39; We have also now restricted all visitors to the building, closed common areas and increased security in our apartments to monitor these guidelines. We don't want the actions of a few to affect the experience of many. & # 39;

The education minister told MPs today that under "special circumstances" students would need to be quarantined before Christmas as anger over handling campus lockdowns mounts.

Thousands of students across the UK have now been self-isolating for a fortnight after more than 500 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in at least 32 universities.

Mr Williamson said it was "essential" that steps are taken to ensure students can return home for Christmas "while minimizing the risk of transmission".

“When circumstances warrant, some students may need to self-isolate at the end of the semester and we will work with the sector to ensure that this is possible, including ending face-to-face learning if it becomes necessary he said.

"My department will publish this guide shortly so that every student can spend Christmas with their families."

Williamson's disappearance to date during the crisis is likely to raise more questions about his future after meeting the wrath of parents, teachers, and MPs over the return of students to schools and last month's A-Level and GCSE results fiasco is exposed.

& # 39; Invisible Man & # 39; Gavin Williamson breaks cover to confirm that some students will need to self-isolate for two weeks at the end of the semester before they can go home for Christmas

The beleaguered Gavin Williamson broke cover today to confirm some college students will have to cut their terms and self-isolate for a fortnight to be allowed home for Christmas.

The education minister said students in "special circumstances" would have to be quarantined before the festive season amid growing anger over handling campus bans.

He turned to the Commons after being labeled an "Invisible Man" by Labor after making himself known by his absence when students were locked in dormitories.

Thousands of students across the UK have now been self-isolating for a fortnight after more than 500 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in at least 32 universities.

Mr Williamson told MPs today that it was "essential" that steps were taken to ensure students can return home for Christmas "while minimizing the risk of transmission".

“When circumstances warrant, some students may need to self-isolate at the end of the semester and we will work with the sector to ensure that this is possible, including ending face-to-face learning when it becomes necessary he said.

"My department will publish this guide shortly so that every student can spend Christmas with their families."

Williamson's disappearance to date during the crisis is likely to raise more questions about his future after meeting the wrath of parents, teachers, and MPs over the return of students to schools and last month's A-Level and GCSE results fiasco is exposed.

The education minister said students in "special circumstances" would have to be quarantined before the festive season amid growing anger over handling campus bans

The education minister said students in "special circumstances" would have to be quarantined before the festive season amid growing anger over handling campus bans

University students (pictured: a university student self-isolating in Manchester) could be instructed to self-isolate for a fortnight so they can reportedly return home for Christmas.

Education chiefs are considering asking students (pictured: a university student isolating in Manchester) in areas with high infection to isolate for two weeks at the end of this semester, regardless of whether they show symptoms of Covid-19, the country said To report.

University students (picture left and right: students self-isolating in Manchester) face two weeks in isolation at the end of the semester so they can return home for Christmas

Thousands of students across the UK have now been self-isolating for a fortnight after more than 500 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in at least 32 universities. Pictured: A sticky note sign reads "Help Us" in a Manchester dormitory

Thousands of students across the UK have now been self-isolating for a fortnight after more than 500 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in at least 32 universities. Pictured: A sticky note sign reads "Help Us" in a Manchester dormitory

Self-isolating students get free alcohol as three more universities impose Covid curbs

Self-isolating students were treated to 1,000 free beers in Manchester as three other universities impose coronavirus restrictions.

Some students at the Manchester Metropolitan University accommodation have been forced into isolation and can only get food and drink through delivery services.

In addition to the free beer from Magic Rock Brewing, other food deliveries were permitted to the dormitories at Needham Court.

It is because three other universities in the UK have restricted freedoms and thousands of students across the country remain in self-isolation after spikes in Covid-19 cases were reported.

The University of Exeter yesterday ordered students to stay indoors and only mingle with people in their household after reports that more than half of the cases confirmed in Exeter last week can be traced back to the university.

The University of Aberystwyth suspended all face-to-face classes after several students tested positive amid "uncertainty" about how far the recent surge has spread.

A "small number" of positive tests have been reported at Queen's University in Belfast, forcing all students living in university accommodation to self-isolate.

Around 40 students and employees at the University of Sunderland have tested positive for coronavirus.

It comes after Newcastle University and Northumbria University confirmed that 62 students tested positive on September 25, with all students self-isolating.

He said he doesn't believe that students should face stricter measures than others in society.

He told Commons, “Both students and the community at large accept that when we are in a global pandemic, we must act in a society with limitations.

"But I don't think we should try to impose stricter measures on students or expect them to have higher standards of behavior than any other sector of society – there has to be parity."

And he added, “We will never be able to eliminate all risks.

“But we are not going to judge a generation of young people by asking them to put their lives on hold for months or years.

"We believe universities are very well prepared for outbreaks that occur."

It is because more and more universities in the UK are restricting freedoms.

The University of Exeter yesterday ordered students to stay indoors and only mingle with people in their household after reports that more than half of the cases confirmed in Exeter last week can be traced back to the university.

The University of Aberystwyth suspended all face-to-face classes after several students tested positive amid "uncertainty" about how far the recent surge has spread.

A "small number" of positive tests have been reported at Queen's University in Belfast, forcing all students living in university accommodation to self-isolate.

Around 40 students and employees at the University of Sunderland have tested positive for coronavirus.

It comes after Newcastle University and Northumbria University confirmed that 62 students tested positive on September 25, with all students self-isolating.

Labor said its investigations revealed that Mr Williamson has not appeared in public in the past few days, nor has tweeted since Sept. 10 – more than two weeks ago.

On Monday, the South Staffordshire MP took to Instagram to cover a litter selection in his constituency that he had attended rather than the situation at UK universities.

Kate Green, Shadowing Secretary, answered in the House of Commons said the situation with students returning to university was "desperately worrying".

Ms. Green told MPs, "Across the country, many people are isolated in cramped quarters, parents are concerned about their well-being and safety, and university staff who worked so hard to prepare over the summer are concerned and angry that the government did not. " t keep his part of the business.

“They have all been disappointed by the government, just as they have disappointed many of these students last month with the way they handled exam results.

The Education Guard supports tuition reimbursement for students who are banned if the quality of their course deteriorates

Students at universities affected by coronavirus should request a tuition refund if the quality of their course deteriorates, the higher education watchdog said last night.

At least 40 universities have recorded virus cases – about one in four – and thousands of students locked in halls.

They have complained about "disgusting" conditions as they are essentially sealed off from the outside world.

The situation has fueled growing anger over the prospect of no face-to-face learning despite fees of up to £ 9,250 per year.

The regulator of the Office for Students (OfS) has now urged students who believe the quality of their education has been compromised to complain and has warned universities not to have a blanket policy on refunds.

Managing Director Nicola Dandridge said, “Students have a right to high quality higher education – whether online, in person, or a mixture of both.

“If you feel this is not happening, you can raise concerns with your university and refer complaints to the Independent Judge's office where no resolution can be found.

"You can also inform the OfS, and we can and will investigate whether we believe that universities have not taken all reasonable steps to protect standards or whether the quality is deteriorating for groups of students."

She added, "In considering whether to provide partial refunds for tuition fees, we expect a university to consider the circumstances for each student rather than adopt a blanket policy that refunds are not available."

"What students, staff and their families need now is reassurance."

Education chiefs are considering asking students in areas with high infection to isolate for two weeks at the end of this semester, even if they don't show Covid-19 symptoms, according to the Times.

Ministers hope this will help prevent the virus from spreading from university areas, some of which are currently on lockdown, to other parts of the country.

Gillian Keegan, Minister for Junior Skills, said today she "expected" students to return home for Christmas, adding, "Of course this is something we will definitely be working towards."

Ms. Williamson is expected by MPs today that students should not face any further restrictions.

He is also expected to point out plans to reduce the risk of transmission when the current term ends in December – one of which is the alleged two-week proposal to self-isolate.

Up to 4,000 students are currently isolating themselves at universities across the country for two weeks after outbreaks.

University of Exeter students living in the city were told to self-isolate for the next two weeks – as the government insisted that jailed freshmen could visit their families over Christmas.

The government said yesterday that all students who are in isolation at the university will be allowed to go home during the festive season amid a growing dispute over the coronavirus lockdown on campus.

The University of Exeter was the last to lock their students down yesterday, ordering them to stay inside and only mingle with people in their household.

It is believed that more than half of the cases confirmed in Exeter in the past week can be traced back to the university.

At the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) locations in Birley and Cambridge Halls, 1,700 students are blocked.

All lectures, seminars and courses for new students at the university are now online for the next 14 days.

Yesterday the Vice Chancellor of the MMU said that the isolating students would receive financial compensation of more than a week's rent and a care package with “basic food”.

The National Union of Students has received reports from security personnel outside the blocks. The universities told the students that they were going to deliver groceries and then they didn't arrive. Others have wondered where the next roll of toilet paper is coming from.

And lawyers have encouraged isolated students to seek their help for free. Liverpool's Levins Solicitors tweeted, "To the MMU students on Birley campus and in the Cambridge halls, get in touch and we'll do our best to help volunteer."

Amid fears of what will happen by December, a Downing Street spokesman said today, "We would expect all students to be able to go home for Christmas."

Meanwhile, the University of Aberdeen has asked private landlords to report students who have violated coronavirus restrictions and warned students who violate the rules would face "robust" disciplinary action.

(Left to right) Mia Winrow (19), Natasha Kutscheruk (18) and Niamh Morrow (19) from the Birtley Hall of Manchester Metropolitan, pictured today. The students have been locked up since Friday

(Von links nach rechts) Mia Winrow (19), Natasha Kutscheruk (18) und Niamh Morrow (19) aus der Birtley Hall von Manchester Metropolitan, heute abgebildet. Die Studenten sind seit Freitag eingesperrt

Fünf der 1.700 Studenten, die an den Standorten der Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) in Birley und Cambridge Halls gesperrt sind, sprechen gestern nach dem Ausbruch mit Sky News

Fünf der 1.700 Studenten, die an den Standorten der Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) in Birley und Cambridge Halls gesperrt sind, sprechen gestern nach dem Ausbruch mit Sky News

Erstsemester posieren am Samstagabend auf einem MMU-Campus hinter dem Fechten

Erstsemester posieren am Samstagabend auf einem MMU-Campus hinter dem Fechten

Anwälte bieten Erstsemestern, die gegen die Sperrung des Campus kämpfen, kostenlose Hilfe an

Eine Anwaltskanzlei hat isolierte Studenten ermutigt, ihre Hilfe kostenlos in Anspruch zu nehmen, wenn sie sich Sorgen über diejenigen machen, die an zwei Standorten der Manchester Metropolitan University festsitzen.

Levins Solicitors aus Liverpool twitterte: "An die MMU-Studenten auf dem Birley-Campus und in den Hallen von Cambridge: Nehmen Sie Kontakt auf, und wir werden unser Bestes geben, um zu helfen, pro bono."

Vorlesungen und Kurse für die ersten Jahre an der MMU werden für die nächsten 14 Tage online gehalten, wobei die Situation in regelmäßigen Abständen überprüft werden muss.

Supt Chris Hill von der Polizei von Greater Manchester sagte, dass nach unserem Kenntnisstand keine Beamten eingesetzt worden seien, um die Regeln für Studenten durchzusetzen.

Er sagte, die Selbstisolierung des Campus sei "kein Thema der Polizeiarbeit".

Der Direktor für öffentliche Gesundheit in Manchester, David Regan, bestätigte ebenfalls, dass die Sperrung derzeit optional ist.

NUS-Präsidentin Larissa Kennedy sagte heute zu Good Morning Britain von ITV: „Ich höre von einigen Studenten im ganzen Land, wo es Sicherheitspersonal außerhalb dieser Blöcke gibt, in denen Studenten festgehalten werden, um Menschen daran zu hindern, zu gehen, zu kommen und zu gehen, wo Studenten davon abgehalten werden, Lieferungen zu erhalten und von der Universität gesagt, dass sie Essen liefern werden und dass die Lieferung nicht angekommen ist und sie für den Tag ohne Essen gegangen sind.

„Ich habe von anderen Studenten gehört, die mit einer Menge Toilettenpapier aufgetaucht sind und ohne Vorankündigung gesagt haben, dass sie eingesperrt werden und sich fragen, woher die nächste Toilettenpapierrolle kommt.

"Es fühlt sich einfach so an, als wären dies widerliche Bedingungen für Studenten, in denen sie gefangen sind."

Die Anzahl der Schüler, die versuchen, eine Einkaufslieferung zu erhalten, bedeutet, dass einige sagen, dass ihnen langsam das Essen ausgeht und die Eltern mit Einkaufstüten in die Hallen kommen.

Die Personalvermittlerin Tina McKenzie, deren Tochter derzeit in Edinburgh isoliert, twitterte: „Meine Tochter befindet sich in ihren Hallen in Edinburgh in Quarantäne.

„Sie sagten, sie würden Essen liefern – sie riet ihr, vegan zu sein. Die Universität von Edinburgh hat eine Marsbar und ein Croissant geschickt. «

Die MMU-Studentin Phoebe sagte gegenüber der Sendung Today von BBC Radio 4: „Ich hatte einen Test zurück und bin tatsächlich positiv, was ziemlich beängstigend ist. Ich wäre nicht überrascht, wenn ich von diesem Ort Korona bekommen hätte. Vor der Isolation wäre die Zeit, in der ich es bekommen hätte.

"Es gab nur ununterbrochene Partys, keine soziale Distanzierung, keine Masken in den Korridoren, die alle zur Verbreitung beitragen würden."

Eine andere MMU-Studentin, Tasiana (18), sagte dem New Statesman: „Als ich ankam, war niemand in der Wohnung. Ich kenne ein Mädchen, das in einem anderen Block lebt und ihre Mitbewohner tagelang nach dem Einzug nicht getroffen hat.

„Der Großteil der Zeit aller wird in ihren Zimmern verbracht, um an Online-Seminaren teilzunehmen. Es ist schwer, mit meinen Mitbewohnern zu sprechen, da viele von ihnen achtstündige Unterrichtstage bei Zoom haben, sodass die Leute ihre Zimmer kaum verlassen. Eine meiner Mitbewohnerinnen ist noch nicht aus ihrem Zimmer gekommen. Wir sind uns nicht sicher, ob sie wegen sozialer Distanzierung vielleicht etwas nervös ist. & # 39;

Als Tausende bereit waren, die neue Amtszeit an der Universität von Aberdeen zu beginnen, umfassen die Sanktionen für diejenigen, die gegen die Regeln verstoßen, eine Geldstrafe von bis zu 250 GBP sowie eine mögliche Suspendierung oder Ausweisung. Private Vermieter werden aufgefordert, „Vorfälle eines Verstoßes“ zu melden. zur Universität.

Anwälte haben isolierte Studenten an der Universität ermutigt, ihre Hilfe unentgeltlich zu suchen

Anwälte haben isolierte Studenten an der Universität ermutigt, ihre Hilfe unentgeltlich zu suchen

Ein Student gibt heute am Fenster einer Wohnung in den Birley Student Halls in Manchester einen Daumen hoch

A student gives a thumbs up at the window of a flat at Birley student halls in Manchester today

But third-year student Jack Boag, 20, said students have been 'sold a lie' and 'treated like the problem' – despite being encouraged to come back to university.

Compensation plans for Manchester Metropolitan students who are self-isolating

Students stuck in self-isolation at Manchester Metropolitan University will be given financial compensation of more than a week's rent, its vice-chancellor has said.

Professor Malcolm Press said 'a significant amount of money' would be given, on top of a care package that includes 'basic food', to ensure students felt 'protected and cared for'.

Speaking to Sky News he said: 'It will be a package that I think students will appreciate, that allows them to rest assured, while they're in this situation, they don't have any particular financial worries as a consequence.'

Prof Press said details were being discussed with students, but added that 'a financial package means hard cash', with it representing 'more than an actual week's rent'.

'Students will be receiving financial compensation to ensure that they feel protected and cared for during this period of self isolation,' he said.

His comments came after Glasgow University said it will refund all students in halls of residence one month's rent, along with a £50 payment for food, amid an outbreak of coronavirus cases there.

Over the weekend fears were raised among a number of students at Manchester Metropolitan University that they were being falsely imprisoned in their accommodation, with human rights lawyers questioning the legality of security staff enforcing a 14-day isolation period.

Students described being scared and confused as their accommodation was locked down on Friday, after 127 people tested positive for coronavirus.

They were later told the decision, made in conjunction with Public Health England and Manchester City Council, was 'deemed necessary' to prevent the spread of the virus to other students, staff or the community.

But Prof Press told Sky News today: 'We were asked to ensure (students) would self-isolate because there had been an outbreak of Covid into halls of residence.

'We're advising students on the rules, what they should do, we're supporting them, but the idea that they're not able to leave is just not true I'm afraid.

'Students are free to go should they wish to and a small number of students have gone home in a Covid-secure way.'

Prof Press also said there had been some 'miscommunication' within the university over students being asked to remove posters.

'We've retracted that information, students are very free to put posters up and we obviously value freedom of speech, and it's just regretful that there was a message sent out in error,' he said.

Mr Boag said: 'In terms of the lockdown, I live in a private flat quite far away from the Covid hotspots, so it comes across as closing the stable doors after the horse has bolted.

'We were told it would be a blended learning experience, and obviously that hasn't happened. Coming up to Aberdeen from my home in Fife has been completely pointless.

'We've been consistently told to come back to campus, we've been consistently told that it would be a blended learning experience, and now that we're here it feels as if we've been sold a lie and treated as if we are the problem.

'For first years who have just moved into halls with people that they've never met, that's hard. My main concern is that landlords could quite easily take advantage of this.

'The landlord/tenant dynamic is not an equal one, so it could become a tool for blackmail, essentially. I'm a private renter so they've been talking to my landlord, and while I can understand the university isn't taking any chances, it's worrying.

'It seems when other universities are easing back, Aberdeen is doubling down and emphasising the punishments and what will happen if you breach regulations.'

Mr Boag, from Fife, said while he doesn't have plans to move back home, he understands why many other students might feel differently.

He said: 'I would have to go back to my grandparents who are vulnerable or my dad who is a key worker, so for me it's not really an option, although I can see why it would be attractive for others.'

Ms McKenzie said she 'followed up multiple times and sent a few dead salads', adding: 'I've sent her parcels and she has ordered takeaway. Lucky she has the money unlike less fortunate others.'

Labour even called for a delay to the start of the English term until the chaotic testing system can meet soaring demand.

Daisy Cooper, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for education, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'I'm extremely worried about these young people.

'Some of them will be vulnerable to mental ill health, and for some of them it's the very first time away from home.

'So I think that the very first thing that needs to happen is that universities need to be given the support to identify which students may be particularly vulnerable.

'The second thing is there needs to be an assessment of which young people want to stay at university and which ones may not want to stay there.'

She added: 'If young people want to be returning at some point between now and Christmas, there needs to be a plan that the Government works up with universities so that we have a managed Covid-secure return of those young people to home.

'Because what we can't have is for those young people to be moving in the same numbers at the same time that they were at the start of term, but doing that at Christmas time.'

Health minister Helen Whately told Radio 4 that the Government could not rule out the prospect that university students may be unable to return home at Christmas.

She said: 'We want them to be home for Christmas. Everybody wants to come home and spend Christmas with family. We want that very much to be the case.

A note left in the window of a flat at Birley student halls of residence in Manchester today

A note left in the window of a flat at Birley student halls of residence in Manchester today

'Christmas is some time off yet and it is down to all of us to get this under control so we can spend Christmas with our families.'

Pressure mounts for universities to refund tuition fees

Pressure is mounting on universities to refund tuition fees as thousands of students face lockdowns, online-only courses and the prospect of Christmas confined to their halls.

Tory MPs said it was 'madness' that the country's universities were charging the same fees for 'second-rate' learning.

As students face the prospect of being confined to their halls of residence over Christmas because of Covid-19 outbreaks on campuses, 3,000 students have already been locked down in their rooms after cases at 36 universities, including Glasgow, Manchester Metropolitan and Edinburgh Napier.

Last night Robert Halfon, the Conservative chairman of the education select committee, said students must be compensated for the lack of face-to-face learning.

The Department for Education said students who wanted refunds should appeal to their universities.

Mr Halfon told the Daily Mail: 'If we have 3,000 students in lockdown now, it could be 6,000 next week, so ministers need to come up with a plan on testing and tracing. And we need to ensure students are back by Christmas, because a lockdown over Christmas would cause anguish for them and their families.

'The Government needs to seriously consider a discount, because when you pay for a product you should expect to get that product, and if not, you should get some money returned.'

Tory MP George Freeman said yesterday it was 'madness' that students were locked in halls of residences by universities 'still happily taking their money'.

He said on Twitter: 'How do I think universities make up the losses from offering student discounts? Well, not from fleecing students! Maybe from vice-chancellors' £300,000 salaries?'

In Manchester, the 1,700 students have been told they cannot leave the campus to visit the local testing centre, leading to fears the outbreak will spread.

Labour education spokesman Kate Green said today that the Government should 'step up' testing capacity to help ensure university students can return home for Christmas,

She told Sky News: 'Students will desperately want to be able to go home to be with friends and family at Christmas. And, of course, it's right that we all have a part to play in keeping distance and keeping safe.

'But the real key to this is getting the mass testing rolled out so that students can be tested, we can know if somebody is testing positive and make sure that they are isolated and don't travel.

'But it would mean the other students would be able to get back home for Christmas and that's why the Government needs to step up too and make sure that that testing capacity is available.'

She also said the Government should support universities' efforts to test for coronavirus, adding: 'One thing that I think particularly in relation to students: much more effort could be made to support those universities that are already developing their own testing capacity, like Leicester, for example, or Cambridge.

'And the Government could be really working much more closely alongside them to get that additional capacity that would relieve pressure elsewhere in the NHS and other pillars of testing.

'And it would mean that students could be tested on campus, so could university staff.'

Ms Green argued this would help make universities 'much safer places'.

Last night Ms Green called on ministers to stop students from returning to university for the start of the academic year – affecting 2.3 million in the UK.

She said they should either delay the start of term or 'pause' the return of students to university campuses where courses had not started.

Backing Miss Green, NUS president Larissa Kennedy told The Guardian the union was demanding 'a functional test-and-trace system in place on campuses and adequate funding to tackle the student mental health crisis'.

She added in a tweet: 'Government and universities are gambling with students' lives.'

Ms Kennedy added on Good Morning Britain today: 'First and foremost, we are of course encouraging people to do the right thing for public health and to follow that guidance.

Students post a message in their window at MMU yesterday complaining about the situation

Students post a message in their window at MMU yesterday complaining about the situation

A sign on a closed gate at the Birley student halls of residence in Manchester this morning

A sign on a closed gate at the Birley student halls of residence in Manchester this morning

Bottles of alcohol lined up in a window of the Birley student halls in Manchester this morning

Bottles of alcohol lined up in a window of the Birley student halls in Manchester this morning

'But we are questioning whether this is legal, in terms of making sure that students get that access to the basic amenities that they need – to food, to toiletries and to all the things they need just to survive lockdown – and in cases where that hasn't been the case, whether it has been legal to keep them cooped up in that way without that access to the things that they need.'

Morrisons cashes in on students trapped in campus lockdowns

Morrisons has today revealed an SOS 'Serve our Students' food delivery service aimed at those in lockdown on campuses.

The supermarket said students will be able to choose from the food boxes of £35 meat essentials; £35 vegetarian essentials; £30 easy meals for the week; and £25 big night in.

An example of the food packs Morrisons will be delivering to isolating students

An example of the food packs Morrisons will be delivering to isolating students

Its delivery service will launch at the lockdown-hit Birley and Cambridge Halls at Manchester Metropolitan and will then expand to other universities.

Students can email students-ug@morrisonsplc.co.uk to place their order today and it will be delivered to them tomorrow between 5pm and 7pm.

Morrisons chief executive David Potts said: 'Students have asked for our help and that's why we are making sure they can safely access affordable food at this very difficult time. We're playing our full part in feeding the nation so that no one is left behind.'

The company hopes students will soon be able to place their order by 2pm for delivery that evening. If successful, the service will be rolled out to other universities across the country.

But outgoing University of Buckingham vice-chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon said: 'We must have a sense of perspective. Universities have gone to huge lengths to plan for this and many are coping.'

And the Department for Education rejected Labour's call, insisting it was 'working closely with universities to support them to keep staff and students as safe as possible'.

Niamh Thripleton, a new zoology student at Reading, told BBC Radio 4's Today: 'We're obviously not allowed to go out. Freshers is all online.

'We're, we think, only meant to socialise with our flat, but they haven't really been enforced or been made clear.

'It's just been a lot quieter, it's been harder making friends. Turning up and realising everything is going to be online is a bit of an anti-climax.

'You'd think it (a zoology degree) would be quite a lot of lab work, and it's quite worrying how I'm going to do that online.

'I just think the way Manchester Met and other places have been locked down, being on your room on your own for two weeks with now freedom there, I don't I'd be able to cope with that, so it's kind of worrying.'

Her stepfather Chris Taplin told the programme: 'I do feel she's certainly been robbed of the experienced I had at university.

'It is also really scary when you read things about the Christmas threat, not coming home, when it is the first time they've moved out and we basically feel we'd be some kind of law breaker if we went there and busted her out. But it's been the first thing for a sort of mental trauma, really.

'Certainly my wife has been saying, 'don't worry we'll get you out' (if she's locked down in halls at Christmas), but I think that's obviously not a very sensible position to go and do that.

'But I think we're both making sure we get food to her and keep talking to her as much as possible.'

Meanwhile the Prime Minister has been urged to ensure online tuition at universities 'becomes the norm', amid concern over the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns on students.

In a letter to Boris Johnson, the University and College Union (UCU), accused some institutions of adopting a 'stubborn position' over requiring in-person teaching because they depended on rent from student accommodation.

An 'HMP' sign has been put up in one of the windows of the Birley student halls this morning

An 'HMP' sign has been put up in one of the windows of the Birley student halls this morning

A sign reading 'help' is left in a window of one of the flats in Manchester this morning

A sign reading 'help' is left in a window of one of the flats in Manchester this morning

Signs in windows of the Birley student halls of residence in Manchester this morning

Signs in windows of the Birley student halls of residence in Manchester this morning

In her letter to Mr Johnson, Jo Grady, UCU general secretary, said the union which represents academics and university staff was 'not prepared to take chances with the health of students, our members and the communities they serve'.

University asks private landlords to report any students caught breaching Covid rules

A top university has asked private landlords to report students caught breaching coronavirus restrictions.

The University of Aberdeen has warned students of the consequences facing them if they breach national Covid-19 related guidance.

In a statement emailed last night, university bosses said students caught breaking the rules would face 'robust' disciplinary action.

Sanctions include a fine of up to £250 as well as possible suspension or expulsion.

And private landlords around the city have been asked to report 'any incidents of a breach' to the university.

The statement read: 'Given the events of the last few days I want to emphasise that any breaches will not be tolerated, and those found to be breaking the rules will face robust action.

'Sanctions include a fine of up to £250 as well as the potential for further action – including suspension and/or expulsion – under our Code of Conduct on Student Discipline (non academic).

'Regardless of whether you live in University provided accommodation, a private flat or in student accommodation from a private provider, we will still look to take the same appropriate disciplinary measures against any student that fails to follow the requirements that are currently in place to protect everyone in Scotland.

'We are in contact with landlords and have asked that any incidents of a breach of our Covid Campus Pledge and Guidelines and the national guidelines are reported to the University, to enable the matter to be investigated in the usual way.'

'It is clear that remote learning should be the default for campus life while we are in this precarious position with the virus,' she said.

'However, what we are seeing on the ground is university employers hiding behind the Government's current sectoral guidance, with all the ambiguities associated with the term 'blended learning'.

She added: 'Whilst other sectors are being encouraged by the Government to work from home to help control the spread of the virus, universities are requiring staff to travel across their local regions to work on-site and in-person with any number of students.

'Considering the known risks associated with in-person teaching and students living in close quarters, why did the Government not insist on minimising in-person teaching and students travelling to universities?

'We have concerns that universities are taking this stubborn position because they depend on rents from student accommodation – and because your own Government refuses to step in and underwrite universities' lost income for the duration of the pandemic to ensure they are not negatively impacted and jobs are not lost.'

The Government is under pressure to guarantee young people are not confined to their halls of residence over the Christmas period because of Covid-19 outbreaks on campuses.

Ms Grady said students should be allowed to leave their accommodation and return home 'without fear of financial penalty'.

'We cannot have students forced to quarantine in halls of residence with no familiar support network, or staff forced to carry out work on site that could be conducted more safely from home,' she said.

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the Office for Students (OfS), the higher education regulator in England, said it would be 'looking very closely' at the quality of education being provided by institutions.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, she said institutions must be clear with students on what teaching conditions they can expect and if this changed.

'What we can't have is a situation where students don't know what's going on, that they're locked in their halls of accommodation, and can't get hold of food,' she said.

She said students had 'legal rights as consumers' and could raise complaints with their university and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

Students at Manchester Metropolitan have been left unimpressed by the cost of studies

Students at Manchester Metropolitan have been left unimpressed by the cost of studies

Students look down from outside their window at MMU while in lockdown yesterday

Students look down from outside their window at MMU while in lockdown yesterday

Asked if students should receive a refund of tuition fees she said it was 'a question for government'.

The 1,700 MMU students in lockdown yesterday complained of feeling abandoned – with some already plotting their escape.

After 127 positive tests for Covid-19 on Friday, the shocked students – many of them freshers living away from home for the first time – were ordered to self-isolate in their halls of residence for a fortnight.

Desperate undergraduates said supplies of food and toiletries were low and complained of students holding all-night parties likened to 'prison riots'.

A student waves through the window of accommodation at MMU behind a sign yesterday

A student waves through the window of accommodation at MMU behind a sign yesterday

Some tried to ease the boredom by putting up signs in their windows with slogans including 'send drink' and 'f*** Boris'.

'Don't fine students for partying – refund their fees': Oxford professor urges UK to follow Sweden and PAY infected freshers to trace their contacts

A Oxford professor has urged universities in the UK to follow Sweden and pay infected freshers to trace their contacts as at least 32 report Covid cases.

Carl Heneghan, professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University told the Times newspaper the Government had helped every sector but had 'clamped down' on students.

The professor said that the UK should pay students to trace their contacts if they become infected and said students should be trusted to behave like responsible adults instead of being locked on campus over Christmas.

He added: 'We should waive student fees. We have asked people to go back to university and at the first sign cases are going up, we are clamping down on people.'

As some students in lockdown likened the university to a prison by labelling it 'HMP MMU', with security guards blocking them from leaving, legal experts claimed their incarceration could amount to false imprisonment.

Adam Wagner, a human rights barrister at Doughty Street chambers in London, wrote on Twitter: 'False imprisonment is detention without lawful authority.'

Hours later, university vice-chancellor Professor Malcolm Press conceded it could only 'expect' students to follow the self-isolation rules – designed to avoid spreading the infection to their home towns.

While many students pledged to stick it out, others were preparing to flee the city.

Tilly Thompson, 19, said she felt like a 'caged animal' and was waiting for her mother to take her home to Wolverhampton.

Students claimed some of those under restrictions had been ignoring the rules and throwing parties.

One boasted the quarantine would be 'a two-week p***-up', saying he had '200 cans of lager' and 'it's going to get messy'.

A student called Tom told BBC Radio 5 Live that people had been running past their flats shouting: 'Open your doors, we've got coronavirus, we want to give it to you.'

He added: 'It was insane… parties going on everywhere, loud music… It was like a prison riot.'

Martyn Moss, of the University and College Union, said he had warned MMU chiefs that their plans for the 'mass return of students would inevitably see institutions become Covid incubators'.

He added: 'Universities should have spent the summer following the science and preparing properly for this inevitable crisis.'

* Are you a student in lockdown? Send your photos to: pictures@mailonline.co.uk *

Gavin Williamson's words plop out of his mouth like coins from a one-armed bandit: HENRY DEEDES watches the Education Secretary's statement on the fiasco in our universities

When the BBC commissioned its delightfully dire 'sun, sex and sangria' sitcom Eldorado, some bright spark at Broadcasting House had the whizzo idea of hiring some Spanish actors.

You can just imagine how the conversation at that executive lunch went. 'Yup, trust me, Tristram, this will save us a bunch. Plus, it will make the whole thing a bit more authentic. Now, do try the rabbit polenta here, it's dreamy.'

Of course, as soon as cameras started rolling, it transpired that none of these artsy hombres understood a word of what he was saying. The whole production was a Costa del Disaster. Hysterical viewing, mind you.

Zero understanding: Gavin Williamson

Zero understanding: Gavin Williamson

This little snippet of early 90s nostalgia came to mind yesterday, when Gavin Williamson came to the House to issue a statement on the fiasco taking place in our universities, where local restrictions have left many students cooped up on campus like battery chooks.

This must be Mr Williamson's fourth or fifth appearance at the despatch box in recent weeks, and having sat through each one, I have come to suspect that he has absolutely zero understanding of the words written in front of him. He might as well be reading Swahili.

Words do not so much come from his mouth as plop out at random, like coins from a one-armed bandit. Everything is just one long monotonous drawl.

Stress, emotion, urgency – such oratorical tools are completely absent from the Williamson kitbag.

Even his universities minister Michelle Donelan, perched cross-legged to his left, spent most of his speech staring into the distance, her eyes basted with a dewy glaze.

From what I was able to discern, contrary to recent fears, students will be able to return home this Christmas, though some might have to cut short their term and self-isolate for two weeks first. Panicking mothers, you can all breathe easy.

It is fortunate for Gav that his opposite number Kate Green was off her oats. She was rather subdued. Possibly still licking her wounds after Piers Morgan gave her a going-over on Monday over her recent comment: 'Don't let a good crisis go to waste.'

Other Labour MPs were far more vocal. 'Shambolic!' they cried. 'Chaotic!' Even bubbly Lucy Powell (Lab, Manchester Central) had gone grey with rage. Williamson, she said, had 'lost control'.

There was much venting about student fees. The DUP's Sammy Wilson (East Antrim) was furious. Usually is. He asked why universities were able to charge the same money while clearly 'not offering the student experience that they promised'. Bambos Charalambous (Lab, Enfield & Southgate) called it 'grossly unjust and unfair'.

This must be Mr Williamson's fourth or fifth appearance at the despatch box in recent weeks, and having sat through each one, I have come to suspect that he has absolutely zero understanding of the words written in front of him

This must be Mr Williamson's fourth or fifth appearance at the despatch box in recent weeks, and having sat through each one, I have come to suspect that he has absolutely zero understanding of the words written in front of him

The SNP's education spokesman Carol Monaghan suggested England take a leaf out of Scotland's book and make tuition fees free. Cheeky. Scottish universities, of course, benefit from cash which whistles its way up from Westminster. Gav thanked Monaghan 'for suggestions for future Conservative Party manifestos'. There were a few 'hear, hears' from backbenchers at that remark, which might have encouraged Williamson.

He delivered a decent put-down to Corbynite clod Richard Burgon (Lab, Leeds East), who accused the Government of rushing students back to dodge demands for rent reimbursements. Droned Gav: 'I'm always grateful to get direct questions from the UCU…'

Laura Trott (Con, Sevenoaks), so lustrously maned she may possibly have just waltzed in from the set of a shampoo advert, raised the issue of university bosses' pay. Some vice-chancellors, as we know, are paid better than Goldman Sachs bankers. Trott wanted assurances that staff would not be allowed to claim bonuses this year, unless fees were lowered. Williamson said he would give regulators a 'strong steer' on the matter. If you could.

Twice Williamson was asked whether students were allowed under the current rules to go home to self-isolate. Twice he promised his department would publish 'guidance' shortly.

He hangs to that word like a toddler to a blankie. He used it 14 times yesterday, by my count. Anyway, Gav shows no sign of going anywhere, so stand by for more of this nonsense.

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Coronavirus