Students’ Return to Universities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:43 pm on 29th September 2020.

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Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Education 12:43 pm, 29th September 2020

I very much hope that the hon. Member’s son is enjoying his time at university and the opportunities that it will open up. We have always been clear that, if youngsters contract covid, they will have to self-isolate. We have also been clear that, where students have been in close contact with people who have covid, they will also have to self-isolate. Those are the rules that we expect everyone right across the country to abide by, so it is right that we also expect that of students. What he would see, if he had taken the time to read the guidance that we issued both on 2 July and the 11 September and the additional work and support made available to universities, is that we recognised that there were going to be challenges as a result of this. That is why we have worked with the university sector and asked it to reduce the risk as much as possible, so that young people are able to have the benefits of university and their learning is not impacted by covid—or the impact is minimised.