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It’s reported that 17-21 are spreading the virus now , should Universities open ??

(140 Posts)
Charliescar Tue 08-Sep-20 10:47:09

Just that really ??

I don’t see why schools should shut if Universities can stay open .

I think that students are far more Likely to spread the virus that students at school.

OP’s posts: |
StatisticalSense Tue 08-Sep-20 10:53:48

We need to stop caring about the absolute numbers of cases but more about the number of hospitalisations and cases amongst higher risk groups. University students are overwhelmingly at very little risk of severe illness or death and most have little to no contact with vulnerable groups of society on a day to day basis meaning very few at risk people will catch the virus in a university setting or off of people who caught it in a university setting. School pupils on the other hand often come into contact with elderly relatives so could lead to significantly more exposure to vulnerable groups.

halcyondays Tue 08-Sep-20 10:55:30

Aren’t unis doing a lot of their teaching online?

ErrolTheDragon Tue 08-Sep-20 10:58:19

Universities should stay open, but students should be very careful about visits home if they have parents/grandparents in higher risk groups. Parents probably need to plan to drop their kids with minimum fuss if they're necessary as chauffeurs, and not visit them during term time. And obviously they must be considerate re the safety of the university staff, both academic and support.

This age group have already been negatively impacted far too much already.

AmelieTaylor Tue 08-Sep-20 10:58:49

No, I don't think they should be physically opening That age group are the ones getting & spreading it The most at the moment. They'll increase the community transmission & that will increase the death rate.

It's as senseless as opening gyms etc in Leicester at the moment.

Chemenger Tue 08-Sep-20 11:00:44

There is an argument that students moving back to university, where they mostly associate and live with each other, pose less of a risk to the wider population than if they are at home, going out with poor social distancing, and socialising with extended families at the same time. Staff are at most risk but, at my university at least, we will have very little contact with students. We’re not having crowded lecture theatres and the number of people in buildings is limited.

JamieLeeCurtains Tue 08-Sep-20 11:04:07

A lot of university students have gone back to their university cities and student houses to have it confirmed in the last couple of days that ALL teaching is online.

However local pubs and bars will be open, as are restaurants, cinemas, and various other venues. There's even a club near our local university which is open and has rammed queues of non-mask-wearing young adults. Taxis and minicabs are operating.

And then they'll go home to families with older relatives either when they get bored, or at Xmas, whichever is sooner.

What can possibly go wrong!

Charliescar Tue 08-Sep-20 11:07:27

@StatisticalSense I live in a small university city . The students do mix with higher risk people in the city centre . They work on supermarkets , shops and cafes . They are walking around etc . So yes they will spread Covid

OP’s posts: |
Chemenger Tue 08-Sep-20 11:08:15

But they will be going to pubs and cinemas etc if they are at home, won’t they? And going home every day.

Charliescar Tue 08-Sep-20 11:09:17

Yes mostly younger people using the gym where I live ! See them all going in.

OP’s posts: |
JamieLeeCurtains Tue 08-Sep-20 11:10:41


But they will be going to pubs and cinemas etc if they are at home, won’t they? And going home every day.

I think there's more 'bar culture' in groups of students.

DownThePlath Tue 08-Sep-20 11:10:54

No. They should open

StatisticalSense Tue 08-Sep-20 11:11:38

The whole reason why this age group are spreading it is because they have been totally neglected by the government, and know they are at very little risk from the virus. A lot of students who would ordinarily work in sectors like hospitality over the summer in order to part fund their studies have instead found themselves unemployed with no access to benefits and nowhere to go as everywhere they would visit was closed.

LadyOfTheImprovisedBath Tue 08-Sep-20 11:12:01

Much has been made of the fact these are the groups going out socialising, although it is also noticeable that the highest rates are spread across much of the working age population - many of whom will have to leave their home to make a living.

Universities have been preparing for this for months - many are doing on-line teaching where possible and others like cardiff University have testing centers set up.

Then there's the national test and trace system set up that should help catch spread and local lockdowns.

Universities rely on student fee and employ a lot of people - I'm not sure shutting them down entirely is possible so trying to manage them and keeping an eye on infection rates is probably only way forward.

SunbathingDragon Tue 08-Sep-20 11:13:34

Most universities are online for the foreseeable future. The issue is that whether they are open or closed, they can’t control young adults regarding where they live or what they do.

Theoretically universities are the safest form of education in the country right now. It’s just whether in reality the students don’t abide by government guidelines so the time away from learning causes cases to rise.

Ormally Tue 08-Sep-20 11:14:20

Probably worth bearing in mind that yes, they are one group currently seeing the spread, but I would be surprised if they were the only ones to 'blame' (well, we seem to have been encouraged to pin some blame on a number of demographic groups since around July already, haven't we? It's not been something that's stuck in many cases.)

The thing that worries me most about the 'reopening' is the accommodation provision and numbers it should take. If a student is on campus they will be almost entirely dependent on an institution for the cleaning, ventilation, heating, plumbing etc. and I am sure risks could be lowered with smaller numbers. In terms of tuition, I think most UK universities are ready for blended learning for at least a term - with international or vulnerable students most probably able to get everything as remote learning. Where labs, medical research and expertise were in place during lockdown though, some universities remained intensively busy in these fields (both staff and students), turned over to assistance and care-related training where they could.

BlackLambAndGreyFalcoln Tue 08-Sep-20 11:14:34

I work in a university! I'm non-student facing, but I would be very very cautious about returning to campus. I don't trust students to social distance properly. I get it - they're young, they want to have fun and enjoy themselves and there's that perceived invincibility of youth, but I am not young and I have a vulnerable household member. Fortunately I am able to wfh for the foreseeable.

frozendaisy Tue 08-Sep-20 11:15:59

I think the younger and workers have sacrificed more than their fair share of this lockdown burden.

Now it seems they are being "blamed" for surge of infections, yes they might be responsible but people who can stay fairly safe, financially unaffected at home should back off others. It's much easier for some to keep safe than others. We should be working towards making the people extremely exposed less exposed.

If I was 22, no kids, parents still relatively young would I stay in? Would I balls.

Egghead68 Tue 08-Sep-20 11:17:08

The worry is that the students will spread it around the country when they move to their university towns. Furthermore it may spread like wildfire in halls of residence where social distancing will be almost impossible (including spreading to older people such as those cleaning the halls of residence).

I’m glad most teaching is online. However I wish students were staying put and accessing the teaching from their parental homes.

JamieLeeCurtains Tue 08-Sep-20 11:20:19

I think it's planning properly for the consequences that's important.

Egghead68 Tue 08-Sep-20 11:22:12

Better to avoid the consequences in the first place.

MarshaBradyo Tue 08-Sep-20 11:27:16

Yes they should open but be mindful of higher risk groups and mixing

Stay together with own age group as much as possible

Pixel77 Tue 08-Sep-20 11:28:46

They've been asked to return and to pay for their accommodation and then told it is online. And now being blamed for the cases. It's rubbish. I feel sorry for them. Paying a fortune, not getting the teaching, even being in a shared house would increase risk too. Should have been handled better by the universities.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Tue 08-Sep-20 11:31:34

Most students (2nd and 3rd years) have already signed year-long contracts for rented houses, and moved into them. You can’t tell adults like this to “go home” - they are home.

And if the first-years stay in ther parental homes, they’ll socialise with their college/sixth-form friends instead. Probably more so than if they were in accommodation with people their own age.

I think the issues around universities opening are much more complicated than “oh they should stay home”.

StatisticalSense Tue 08-Sep-20 11:32:21

Unless you have an irrational hatred for the current generation of young adults and would like exponential falls in the state of the generations mental and physical health what you would like to see is literally impossible.
The reality is that only the most privileged of students have a set up in their parental home that is even close to what is needed for extended periods of home study, and the vast majority of other students have neither the space or financial resources for such a set up. Expecting students to study for degrees in the parental home will in many cases mean studying on their beds or sofas and lead to an endemic of back, shoulder and wrist issues. Many young people would also struggle to get any quiet time to actually study without interruptions if they had to do so at their parental home leading to mental health issues and many completely underachieving and degrees basically being awarded on the basis of financial wealth rather than merit.

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