‘We have been forgotten’: How the student mass exodus is impacting Sheff students

Placements, deadlines and jobs are being impacted


In a bid to get all students home for Christmas, the UK Government has announced their ‘mass exodus’ plans, involving a travel window and rapid testing.

On the surface, this may seem like a compassionate step to reunite students with their families over the Christmas period, but what about placements, deadlines and exams?

We spoke to the students in Sheffield who are being detrimentally impacted by Boris’ latest plan.

Students like Elise, a second year Occupational Therapy student from Hallam who told us “I’m on placement right up until the week before Christmas so this idea that everyone will get tested then have enough time to isolate and be home for Christmas just doesn’t work for me.”

She continued “I would either have to miss placement hours or not be home in time for Christmas, it’s a lose-lose situation.”

“I feel like healthcare students who are working for free for the NHS during the pandemic, who live far away from home, are being forgotten and unconsidered” Elise told the Sheffield Tab.

In an email to the entire student body, Sheffield Hallam said “for our health profession courses where there are placements you should remain and complete your placement” despite the hundreds of students, like Elise, who may not make it home for Christmas.

The latest ‘mass exodus’ plan is also impacting many other students, such as Sophie, a final year Business and Marketing student who shared “being in final year means that I need to be in Sheffield longer to access the campus facilities and make sure I get a high grade. Also, going home to work just ruins my motivation.”

Meg, a third year Geography student agrees saying “I have three deadlines during the student travel window and with this new plan it effectively feels like we have to choose between spending Christmas with our families and risking our grades or staying in Sheffield alone and possible having access to the library.”

What about those students who work alongside their degree? Jessica, a third year Geography student shared “I work for amazon and they are expecting me to work during the Christmas period so I can’t really go home. I’m going to have to stay and then get my parents to collect me as I live over two hours away.”

Have you been impacted by this latest rule? Let us know.