St Andrews students to receive rent refunds for halls of residence

Students will be refunded until in-person teaching resumes

St Andrews students living in halls of residence are being offered refunds after the university ordered students not to return for the beginning of the semester.

Teaching will begin online on January 25th and in-person teaching is not expected to resume until March, or later.

Students living in halls of residence can ask for their rent to be paid back from January 25th up to when in-person teaching starts again.

In an email last week, Principal Sally Mapstone encouraged students not to return to St Andrews for the start of the second semester.

The university has announced a rent rebate for students in university accommodation, but has no powers to push private landlords to offer a refund.

Students living in private accommodation this year may ask their landlord for a refund on the basis that the Scottish Government has requested that you delay your return to university and therefore cannot occupy your accommodation for a specified time.

The Principal stressed: “These new restrictions are not because our classrooms or the university more generally are unsafe.

“We know from last semester that our classrooms are a safe, fully risk-assessed environment for teaching, and that there has not been a single instance of Covid being passed on in class, laboratory, or any educational setting.”

Exceptions were made for students already en route to St Andrews and international students who had already booked their return journey.

Medical students and students on ScotGem programmes, who are designated key workers, and “a small number of students whose course requirements mean that remote learning is impossible” will also be allowed to return.

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