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Revised guidance for colleges, universities and student accommodation providers reflecting the latest public health advice has been published.

It builds on previous guidance and uses the most up-to-date evidence to support universities, colleges and accommodation providers plan for a safe return to campus in the new academic year. It includes:

  • A continuation of blended learning, with significantly reduced frequency and numbers of staff and students on campus compared to pre-COVID levels.
  • A requirement to keep face-to-face teaching to small groups, generally less than 30 and supported by other infection prevention control measures. Group numbers of up to 50 students may be considered in some circumstances, but only where supported by a risk assessment.
  • Advice that face coverings should be worn in any area on campus where physical distancing cannot be guaranteed, on dedicated college and university transport and in student accommodation indoor communal areas such as toilets, common rooms and laundry rooms.
  • A requirement for colleges and universities to give clear information on regulations and guidance to students arriving from outside Scotland, and to take steps to ensure international students and staff who need to quarantine comply with the law, including using appropriate disciplinary procedures.

The start of the student year will be fundamentally different this year with significant change to the delivery of education and a need to dramatically curtail the socialising many would associate with this period. For the protection of public health the Scottish Government has stressed the importance of ensuring the guidance is complied with.

Universities Scotland, Colleges Scotland, National Union of Students (NUS), trades unions and public health professionals were consulted on the guidance.