Labor said the government should promise college students that they will be allowed to go home for Christmas.
Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green said it was “unthinkable” that students were still locked up in halls and not being able to see their families.
Thousands of students are currently closed at universities across the UK after the coronavirus outbreak.
The Ministry of Education said it was working closely with universities.
Earlier this week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock Rejected exclusion He imposed a ban on students returning home for Christmas, but added, “I don’t want to have a situation like this and I very much hope we can avoid it.”
He was responding to a question about fears students could spread Covid-19, following a local outbreak on campus.
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About 3,000 students are currently closed at universities from Dundee to Exeter, said Robert Halfon, chair of the Conservative Party on the Education Select Committee in the House of Commons.
Includes up to 1,700 students At Manchester Metropolitan University The students say they are prevented from leaving by security guards and police.
Several students expressed concern and confusion about the situation, with one saying “they were completely left in the dark.”
In a letter to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, Ms. Green of the Labor Party accused the government of failing to prepare for the possible spread of the virus among students.
“It is very sad that many people are not going to have the college experience they deserve now, and face the terrible prospect of being locked into their rooms without the opportunity to make new friends,” she said.
“The universities have done everything they can to prepare for the safe return of students to campus, but the government has failed to fulfill its role.
“You failed the youth by failing the exam during the summer, and now many of those same students have failed again. These guys deserve better than your inefficiency.”
She called for:
- Sufficient test capacity in universities
- All students will be given the option to study remotely
- The government should consider postponing the start of the semester for universities that have not yet returned
Regarding Christmas, she added that the government “should work with universities to ensure that every student gets the test to allow a safe trip back home.”
Earlier this week, The government science advisor, Sir Mark Walport, warned that Students at virus hotspots may have to stay on campus over Christmas.
- “ Don’t make students scapegoats because of the COVID-19 outbreak. ”
- Scottish students: “Why did they send us here?”
We had no warning
Manchester Met said it has imposed a 14-day self-isolation period at its residences in Birley and Cambridge Halls after 127 students tested positive for the virus.
“We did not receive any warning, support, or advice from the university about how we got food and so on,” said Joe Byrne, a first-year student there. “Instead, we were left completely in the dark and practically locked up against our will.”
Another student, Megan Tengi, said the university did not call her about the closure before police appeared outside her residence.
“It was really scary and confusing,” she said. “Nobody really told us much and then the police also appeared with security outside.”
Thousands of other students in England attend for the new semester this weekend – but the big question is whether they should go in the opposite direction and study from home.
Is it wise or fair for universities to send students back if they are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and having to self-isolate?
The apartment complexes, with shared facilities and filled with young people wanting to socialize, have already experienced a wave of outbreaks. Should the brakes be applied to prevent this pattern from repeating itself?
But after recruiting record numbers of students and promising them a combination of online and face-to-face teaching, it will be a very difficult turn for universities to return to the academic equivalent of working from home.
Does this mean a refund of accommodation and study fees?
There will likely be some messy days ahead – and some important decisions to be made about cutting numbers on campus. Students must wonder how they went from being locked at home all summer to being locked up now at university.
In a statement, Manchester Met said it had contacted students “as quickly as possible but it was not possible to give important advance notice as isolation had to be implemented almost immediately”.
“The messages we sent included details on how to access food and other supplies, and we are working with other partners, including local supermarkets, throughout the day to provide additional support,” the statement said.
“Our security teams will increase patrols to support the lockdown and will take disciplinary action against any students found to have violated the requirements.”
Hundreds of students are also being isolated at the University of Glasgow due to the presence of two groups of coronavirus.
The university said that A four-week rental discount will be offered All students were housed in university housing in recognition of the “difficult circumstances” in which they were living.
These students will also get £ 50 each to spend on food, she said, and will also invite local mobile food outlets to come to the residences.
All over Scotland, students have been told not to Going to bars, parties or restaurants during the weekend. Universities in Scotland said that students come into contact with anyone outside their family They risk losing their place in the university.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Education said: “The government is working closely with universities to ensure they are well prepared for the return of students, and we have published guidelines to help them keep students and staff as safe as possible.
“Students should follow the latest health advice, just like the wider public, which means that they must stay at the university in the event that they develop symptoms, are isolated, there are additional restrictions imposed locally, or an outbreak of disease on campus or in their residence.
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and follow the advice of Public Health England, adapting policies to provide the best support for students and service providers.”