Responding to the Education Minister’s announcement of Christmas travel plans for students, Professor Julie Lydon, Chair of Universities Wales, said:
‘We welcome today’s announcement of principles to allow students living in term time accommodation to travel home for Christmas if they wish to do so. Providing students with the opportunity to travel home for Christmas has been a key priority for the sector and we are pleased to have worked collaboratively with Welsh Government and stakeholders in the development of this approach.
‘These principles provide a structure for universities to support students to travel home while also recognising that some provision, such as placements, will not move online by 9 December and allowing universities flexibility in this regard. Our campuses continue to be safe, socially distanced, environments.
‘As well as the phased approach outlined in the principles, as we approach the festive period we will support students to continue to make responsible choices in order to protect themselves, their families and communities. We will also continue to work with Welsh Government on how new testing technology can be used to support students to return home.
‘It is important to remember that many students live permanently near their university and will not be traveling home, and others will make the choice to remain in their term-time accommodation over the Christmas period. Welsh universities will make sure that the diversity of the student population is recognised and that those who remain near or on their campuses are supported.
‘Universities will continue to work closely with students, staff and the Welsh Government in the run up to Christmas to implement the measures set out and support those students who are travelling to a separate non term-time household to do so as safely as possible.’