Students’ Return to Universities - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:25 pm on 1st October 2020.

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Photo of Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 1:25 pm, 1st October 2020

I congratulate the noble Lord on the completion of his term as pro-vice chancellor at Lancaster. He will be a tough act to follow, but I see that my right honourable friend—as he would be if he were still in another placeAlistair Burt is going to give following in his footsteps his best shot. The noble Lord is absolutely right: we want to see face-to-face teaching where that is safe and possible. Universities are doing a blend of online and face-to-face, depending on the courses and the circumstances, and on the public health needs in their locality. We are targeting testing capacity at the areas that need it most, including where there are outbreaks, and prioritising at-risk groups. But we are working closely with universities so that we can make sure that they are keeping staff and students as safe as possible.