Students at Manchester Metropolitan University have been offered further financial support from the University. A reduction in rent will be offered to students in all university owned accommodation.
This follows the announcement of England’s third national lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson proposed a national lockdown would be in place from Tuesday 5th January. One of the new restrictions included all teaching and learning to be held online until at least mid-February.
Manchester Metropolitan University will be implementing this with immediate effect (with some limited departmental exceptions). Students already on campus are advised to stay in their term-time address and follow the general Government guidance.
In a speech to the nation on Monday 4th January, Johnson warned that if immediate action was not taken, the NHS could be overrun within 21 days. This means a short-term strengthening of the previous ‘tier’ system. Different measures are in place depending on your UK location.
Following on from the rent reduction announced by the University before the national lockdown, a further reduction has been applied to University owned accommodation. This covers the rent from 4th January to 15th February, although this will be automatically extended should the national lockdown be extended.
The University is also lobbying privately owned accommodation to encourage them to consider similar financial support.
There will be no reduction in tuition fees, as all teaching and learning are continuing to be delivered.
In addition, all schools and colleges have been closed, with the exception of some schools for children with disabilities and provisions for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.
For student who are also parents, they will now need to factor in caring for their children during ‘school hours’. For students who are home with younger siblings, they could potentially contend with similar distractions, making the completion of academic studies more challenging.
To combat these new challenges, the university is offering a compendium of online support, including study skills, well-being services and financial support services. There are also 1-1 pastoral sessions being run on various platforms, in addition to the online lectures, tutorials and workshops.
The latest government figures show 3.36 million confirmed cases in the UK and 88,580 deaths (as of 17th January 2021). Cases are once again rising daily, with a real concern for the pressure that this will put on fundamental services.
There is further concern that treatment will continue to be delayed for those with other serious illnesses and diseases, as well as the impact this will have on the rising number of people with mental health issues.
According to the Government’s website, as of 17th January, over 2.2 million people had been vaccinated against Covid 19 and this number is increasing daily. The most vulnerable, and those on the ‘Front Line’, are among the first to receive the vaccination. For the majority of students, those 18-21 and in good health, there could be a much longer wait.
For more information relating specifically to Manchester Metropolitan University, including the departments exempt from online teaching visit www.mmu.ac.uk/student-life/spring-term/
For mental health advice and support, please contact your GP or visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus