Students need rent rebates as lessons go online

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP has called on the Scottish Government to urgently publish clear and detailed guidance to help students prepare for the new academic term, following confirmation that the majority of university students will have online learning until the end of February.

The Minister for Further and Higher Education announced today “detailed sectoral guidance will be published as soon as possible next week”, despite the new timetable applying from January 5th.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats are also repeating their calls for students to get rent rebates.

Ms Wishart said:

“Students want to do the right thing but many remain in the dark about what exactly is permitted under the new lockdown rules. Students still have questions about accessing learning materials left in term-time accommodation and on rules around forming and re-forming households. In the middle of this cold snap they might be liable for problems in properties that they are not allowed to attend. They need urgent answers to help them make them make safe decisions to ensure they are in the best place to begin in the new term.

"The Government was slow to act on getting detailed plans and guidance in place for the pre-Christmas movement of students. Students expect and deserve better.

“News today that online learning will continue throughout February also means many will be stuck paying for student accommodation or private housing they can’t use. The Government should ensure these students are treated fairly and are supported with a proper rebate. Many of them have made huge sacrifices to keep others safe, they should not be punished financially for doing so.”

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