Russell Group response to Government update on return to higher education

22 February 2021

In response to the Government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England published today (22 February 2021), which confirms university students on practical courses who need to access specialist facilities and equipment can return to in-person teaching and learning from Monday 8 March 2021, Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group said:

 "Universities will welcome the news that students on practical courses who need access to specialist equipment or facilities can now be offered in-person teaching again from 8 March. Our members have worked hard to make campuses Covid-secure, with twice-weekly testing and very low overall infection rates this year – even with students from high-priority courses already back on campus.

"Whilst we understand the importance of easing lockdown in a cautious and controlled way to ensure further tightening of measures are not required, we would urge the Government to consider whether more students can return to in-person teaching at the Roadmap’s first review point in early April. An earlier return will be particularly beneficial for the mental health and well-being of students. In the meantime, we will continue to offer students the best possible online teaching and support and would like to thank them – and our staff – for their hard work and determination to succeed as we all deal with the challenges of combatting Covid."

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