Following a meeting between university principles and government ministers, further measures and messaging have been introduced to stop the spread of the virus among the university population.
However, the measures have been widely criticised by student organisations and are another blow to Scotland’s hospitality industry, which is struggling in the current economic climate.
Prof. Gerry Cormac, covener of Universities Scotland, said: “University leaders share the Scottish Government’s complete commitment to keeping the student population and the wider community safe. We have already implemented strict measures to ensure the safety of the university environment, both for teaching and for student residences.
“We have seen the majority of students live up to our expectations of responsible behaviour, but a minority have not. Everyone across the nation shares the concern at seeing students in residences test positive for the virus and we will act decisively to deal with this.”
Matt Crilly, NUS Scotland president, said: “Tonight’s announcement by Universities Scotland, and endorsed by the Scottish Government, unfairly blames students for the spread of coronavirus and takes the unjustified step of applying different rules to students over and above the rest of the adult population.
“These measures are deeply concerning – not least to those students who rely on income from hospitality jobs. Having different rules for students makes it even more confusing to stay within guidance, which could make things less safe. And the rules show a complete disregard for students’ mental health and wellbeing. We need better.”