NTU students react to universities staying open despite second national lockdown

The second lockdown is here, but with one key difference to the first. Universities and schools are to stay open, meaning that students will still have a mix of on campus and online learning.

We asked students at NTU aout their feelings towards this decision.

James Dylan, 21, a second year student studying wildlife conservation, feels that universities shouldn’t stay open.

“It’s just an added risk of exposure and possible spreading of the virus when most if not all work can be done online.”

James is worried about using public transport to go to university. (Credit: James Dylan)

When asked if he felt safe going into university, he said: “As someone who has to use public transport to get to campus – no.”

Rares Pintilie, 20, a third year Marketing student at NTU, feels that it is safe to study, though it is outside of university that is the problem.

He said: “Technically it is safe to study inside due to the rules, but what some students do outside of university is the reason why there are more restrictions.

Rares says that students should be more concerned about how they protect themselves from the virus when they are not at university. (Credit: Rares Pintilie)

“It does not matter if it stays open or not, but if both you and the university staff care about your health only for a couple hours a day, it’s not going to make a difference if you don’t care about that for the rest of the day.

“You can still get the virus and spread it even if you follow the rules inside university premises.

“It’s a matter of people’s behaviour, not an academic issue.”

When asked about if he felt safe going to campus, he said: “I got four physical hours for the whole term.

“So as far as going physically I was okay with the rules.”

Iwan Hughes, 19, a second year English student, said: “Personally, I believe that it should be left to the person to decide whether they want to go in or do it online.”

Iwan says he doesn’t feel safe at university. (Credit: Iwan Hughes)

When asked if he felt safe going into university, he said that he “personally felt safe going into university”, but his family think otherwise.

It is an issue that has divided students, as some feel that it should stay open while others don’t.

NTU will be continuing its blended approach of both online and in-person learning, and the library will remain open.

In a letter sent to students, Vice-Chancellor Edward Peck stated that “NTU remains open and our campus facilities are available to all our students until the end of term”.

By Kieran Burt

Feature image: Olimpia Zagnat (modified)

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