‘9k 4 What?’: Here are all the signs put up by students under forced lockdown in halls

Students stress ‘mental health comes first’

A rise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks has led to 1,700 students in halls at Manchester Metropolitan University and hundreds of others at universities such as Edinburgh and Dundee into forced isolation. Several universities across the UK have also seen a rise in coronavirus cases.

In reponse to the spike in cases across different universities, many of them have banned freshers from leaving their halls. Students in lockdown have been trying to make the best of a bad situation by sticking signs to their windows, which have been shared on social media.

Here is a round up of some of the best signs:

“I’m claustrophobic Daren”

Scottish students in lockdown clearly feel the same way as Gemma Collins once did on I’m A Celeb. Stuck in a tiny student flat would make anyone claustrophobic.

Other signs in the picture also stated “F*ck Boris” and “Tory Scum”, whilst another sign simply said, “Cry”.


Students at Manchester Metropolitan University have put up signs in their windows which say “HMP MMU”, comparing it to Her Majesty’s Prisons. Students have described the halls lockdown “like hamsters trapped in a cage”.


Students at Manchester Met also wrote “9 grand + 6 grand = Depression 2020”.

“9K 4 What?”

Many students at Manchester Met and across the country have had all their lectures and seminars moved online due to the pandemic. Students and supporters are asking whether the £9,250 tuition fee price tag is worth it this year, with many demanding a refund or a slash in fees.

“Mental health comes first”

Another sign at student halls at Manchester Met says “Mental health comes first, let us out”. Students in lockdown have stressed how their mental health will be impacted during the lockdown as they are away from their families and friends who are their support systems.

With the news that students may be asked to stay at university over the Christmas holidays, students and parents are urging the government to rethink this as it could have a detrimental impact on the mental health of students.

“Send nudes, weed and food”

Some students had very different priorities, as seen by the picture below with a sign that says “Send nudes, weed and food”.

“Locked up”

Boris Johnson has been the subject of many of the signs put up by students. A student at a Manchester Met halls put up signs saying: “Locked up! Thanks Boris. £9250 + rent”.

“COVID Party?”

Other students in Manchester try to make light of the situation by asking for a “COVID party?”


More students questioned the price of tuition fees, simply writing “9k?”. Whilst another sign said “Fuck this”.

“Send drink”

Several windows at student halls were covered in post-it notes reading “Send food”, “Send drink” and “Hi mum”.


Students ask for help in Dundee where coronavirus cases have risen to 84 in two student halls.

“Abolish tuition fees”

The debate over tuition fees has been ongoing for years, but the move to online learning during the pandemic has again led students to ask for the abolishment of tuition fees.

“Cash cow”

A sign at Birley Halls at Manchester Met reads “cash cow”: many students were encouraged to travel to university for the new academic year with a promise of blended learning including online lectures with some face-to-face teaching. However, many students now face online learning only whilst still paying the full tuition fees and rent for accommodation they did not need to move into.

“You have permission to look at our kitchen”

This flat resorted to sarcasm, perhaps fuelled by the increased media presence at Manchester Met.

Boris Johnson, again

Students’ frustration with Boris Johnson and the government can clearly be seen in the number of signs against Boris. This one from Manchester Met says “What a sad little life Boris”.

Featured image credit: @shtebunaev / @rosrites 

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