British government and universities pursue reckless return to higher education under pandemic conditions

 

British government and universities pursue reckless return to higher education under pandemic conditions

By
Simon Whelan

18 September 2020

More than one million students are returning to Higher Education (HE) campuses across the UK, including hundreds of thousands from abroad. This migration is occurring under conditions where the COVID-19 virus is resurgent, following the forced return to workplaces and schools under the government’s herd immunity policy.

The return to campus will accelerate the R (reproduction) value, which last week rose to between 1.0 and 1.2. In major cities and conurbations such as London, Greater Manchester and Liverpool, the R rate rose to between 1.1 and 1.3, higher than other UK regions. These last two urban areas alone are home to eight universities with a combined student population exceeding 120,000.

Campuses have been closed since March and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said earlier this month that the mass

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