Felix Rackow

This week for Edinburgh students - 29th January 2021

Once again this week, Coronavirus dominates the news for Edinburgh’s students…

Students who break Covid rules threatened with expulsion

In an email sent to all students in University-managed accommodation yesterday, Vice-Principal Colm Harmon reminded students of their responsibility to stick to the lockdown rules imposed by First-Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Whilst acknowledging that he was “conscious that the majority of our students in Edinburgh comply with all the regulations and have been living and studying in these extraordinary times with responsibility and maturity”, Harmon also suggested that some students were not being as responsible as they should be.

To this minority of students, Harmon’s message was clear; that if they are caught breaking the rules by having parties in student halls of residence, they will face “severe sanctions” including being evicted from their accommodation, and even potentially being excluded from the University permanently – a consequence which Harmon describes as “just not worth it”.

Whether these strict sanctions apply to those renting privately, or indeed why the email was only sent to students in University-managed accommodation, remains unclear.

Dr Anthony Fauci and others to speak at Edinburgh University event

One of the world’s most respected public health figures, Dr Anthony Fauci, is to speak at the inaugural Edinburgh Futures Conversations event in March.

Fauci, who is currently chief-medical advisor to the Biden administration, is set to take part in a discussion surrounding the implications which the Covid-19 pandemic will have on the future, and particularly focussing on “the role that universities and students can play in nurturing a multi-sector, multi-level approach to collective action.”

Image: The White House from Wikimedia Commons

Others set to speak at the event include Dr Nanshan Zhong, China’s top respiratory diseases expert, who features on Time Magazine’s 2020 list of most influential people, and former Botswananan Minister of Heath, Professor Sheila Tlou.

Speaking about the series and its significance to Edinburgh, Principal Professor Peter Mathieson said: “These events stand as testament to the critical role the University of Edinburgh can play internationally as a place of discussion, debate and challenge. I am delighted that Edinburgh will provide such a platform for leading experts from across the globe.”

More information about the series can be found here.

Students encouraged to notify the University if they plan to travel back to Edinburgh

Despite advice from both the Scottish Government and the University that students should stay where they are as teaching is now online for the rest of the semester, some students face circumstances which dictate that they must return to Edinburgh.

If this is the case, students are being encouraged to notify the University of their intention to travel using a form found on the University website.

This form contains various questions, including the reason the student is intending to travel (with answers ranging from in-person teaching recommencing to a home location being ‘unsuitable for study’), the date the student wishes to travel, and where they are travelling from.

Whilst these reasonable excuses to travel are not followed up by the University unless requested by the student, the University have clarified that having poor WiFi or a lack of books at home is not a sufficient reason to return to Edinburgh, because students can be supplied by a mobile-WiFi device to get them connected to the internet, and can make use of the Library’s ‘scan and deliver’ service.

The form also asks students to confirm that once back in Edinburgh, they will follow the University’s Student Code of Conduct.

After filling out the form, students are emailed a letter from the University which confirms their requirement to travel, should they be questioned during their journey.

Should any student require the form, it can be found here.