UNIVERSITIES across the UK slapped fines amounting to £170,000 on students nationwide for breaching Covid safety rules in the first weeks of the academic year.
An analysis carried out by the Guardian newspaper using the freedom of information act has revealed that 28 universities across Britain fined students for breaching Covid rules such as household mixing, social distancing, and mandatory facemasks. Students have appealed that many were forced to flaunt guidelines in order to socialise and make friends at a time when mental health is in crisis.
The University of Nottingham dished out the most fines, with a third of the national figure coming from the institution. They received £58,865 in fines, which they say will go towards funds for student wellbeing. They were followed by Leeds Beckett, Oxford Brookes, Manchester University, and Aberdeen as the top colleges for penalising students.
Larissa Kennedy, the president of the National Union of Students, claims ‘it is absolutely unacceptable that universities have felt it necessary to issue obscene fines and harsh punishments’ to students. She says that colleges ‘should be providing care packages with food, household products, wellbeing materials, and general necessities at no extra cost’ during this difficult time.
Universities UK, which represents over 120 institutions, says that they ‘are taking Covid safety measures and government guidance very seriously and students will have to be informed of the consequences of breaking these rules’.
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