Lboro Uni boss says they ‘don’t have the power’ to keep students at uni for Christmas

Richard Taylor has given reassurances to students that he has no intention of keeping them over Christmas

Richard Taylor, the Chief Operating Officer of the Loughborough University, has said that he has no want, nor the ability, to keep students here over the Christmas period. This will be of much relief to a lot of students.

The prospect of not being able to return home at Christmas is a daunting one for all students.

After being hit with the algorithm exam adjudicator, and then the increased likelihood of on-campus isolation, for freshers like me, returning home for Christmas was a certain comfort at the start of September.

But with widespread speculation at the end of the month and start of October, as to whether the government would be further restricting students movements at the ‘happiest time of the year’, Richard Taylor, the Chief Operating Officer of Loughborough University has provided assurances to all those enrolled at the University about their stance on the matter.

In an email to students, Taylor stated: ‘There has been much unhelpful speculation in the media over the weekend as to whether students would be allowed to return home at Christmas. Whilst we believe the story has no clear credence (it is not Department for Education policy, for example), it has caused concern and it is, therefore, important to clarify the University’s position – the University does not have powers nor any desire to require students to stay at Christmas.”

This news will provide welcome comfort to all students worried about the possibility of not being able to return home, and instead of having to attempt cooking a turkey in their convection ovens. Students in Cayley Hall will be particularly pleased by this news!

Taylor went on to state: “If we need to make additional arrangements to allow students to return home (for example, additional testing), we will do so. If there are any students who are unable to return home, we will support them at the University over Christmas.”

This could be in relation to the newly speculated leak from the government about a plan to isolate students for 14 days to the 22nd of December, to then let them return home.

Unlike other universities, such as Southampton, Loughborough has not yet rolled out weekly testing for all students and is instead using the isolate, test and protect method, upon students developing symptoms. As of Thursday 22th October, Loughborough University has 391 live cases reported within the previous ten day, with an additional 202 cases reported at any time before the 12th.

Overnight the Official NHS COVID-19 App moved Loughborough’s LE11 postcode into the High-Risk category, while the current state of the area under the new tiered system remains unchanged at Tier 1, with the town on track to reach Tier 2 within 7-10 days on current trajectories.

Under the University’s Connect and Protect scheme, if you develop any of the following symptoms, contact Connect and Protect by visiting the link below:
– ‘a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back’
– ‘a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)’
– ‘a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal’