Higher Education: New and Returning Students - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:51 pm on 15th April 2021.

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Photo of Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 12:51 pm, 15th April 2021

My Lords, of course we understand the frustration that students might feel, particularly as things are opening up under step 2, but many of the things that are opening are taking place outside and do not involve the formation of new households, which a return of students to university would do. Inside, the risks of transmission increase, and the decision we have taken is in line with our cautious approach to the road map out of lockdown. At the heart of our decision is public health but also student well-being, as the noble Baroness mentioned. The last thing that any of us want is for students to have to self-isolate repeatedly, as some had to previously. That would not only be damaging to their mental health and well-being but put at risk the ability of some students studying creative and practical subjects to graduate.