College and university returns in Scotland postponed

The Scottish Government has announced expectations for college and university student returns, given the current status of coronavirus, reality of new strain, and rise in cases in recent weeks.

University students will be taught online throughout January and February, with the vast majority not expected back on campuses until the start of March, as part of a revised plan for their return in light of the spread of the new variant of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Only very small numbers of students will be allowed back on campus this month, for example, those: who have remained over the winter break; whose attendance is critical and whose education cannot be delivered remotely or postponed, essential placements, or for reasons of student well-being.

Where attendance is time-sensitive to the ability to graduate and cannot be delivered remotely or further postponed, very limited numbers of students may be able to return from mid-February. However all arrangements are subject to a future review of COVID-19 conditions.

Colleges will follow the level guidance for their local authority area which in practice means with limited exemptions the majority of  college students' studies will be on line in January and  into February

The current state of the pandemic, the impact of suppression measures and the roll out of the vaccine will all be taken into account in considering whether it is possible for a return at any point.

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