Stirling MP Alyn Smith has praised the work of the University of Stirling in supporting students during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Smith, who is Vice Chair of Westminster’s All Party Group on Universities, drew attention to Stirling University’s work in lifting the financial burden from students who’ve left their accommodation during the pandemic.
Joining a parliamentary question and answer session virtually, Mr Smith urged the UK government to look at the example that Stirling is setting, but also said that this came with a financial burden upon the University itself, asking UK Education Minister Michelle Donelan to assess what financial support the UK government can give to universities at this challenging time.
Commenting, Alyn Smith MP said:
“Students really have had a hard time of it during this pandemic crisis, and it’s been a worrying time for many who have left home for the first time.
“Right at the beginning, the University and the Students’ Union stepped up to the mark to ensure that people on campus were kept safe, and that remote learning where possible enabled students access to high-quality learning whilst maintaining social distancing.
“The financial hit that the University has taken through rightly supporting students who opted not to stay in their accommodation is significant. This crisis has already put severe strain on the university sector, and the Scottish Government is doing what it can with limited budgetary powers to support our world class educational institutions.
“Having already written to Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes on this matter, I have now raised it with UK ministers in parliament. I understand that discussions on this are ongoing between the UK and Scottish Governments, and I hope that a solution can be found to ensure that the University of Stirling remains in a position to offer the support that it has been to date to students.”
Video – Alyn Smith MP question to Education Minister: https://twitter.com/alynsmith/status/1357003581283565572?s=21