Prime Minister provides update to students on possible Government support for rent payments during coronavirus pandemic

Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to rule out Government support for university students unsatisfied with the quality of teaching provided due to the coronavirus.

Speaking in the latest Government press briefing, the Conservative PM said requests for Government support were as a result of “reasonable concerns” and confirmed the Government would “look at” issues to do with the cost of their accommodations.

The Prime Minister spoke to the media alongside chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance from Downing Street.

During the briefing, the PM was asked how students will be supported to meet the costs of accommodation that they will not be living in due to national lockdown and whether there is any support to reduce student fees or the need to repay student loans.

The PM said: “Obviously we will be looking very carefully at what is happening to students as a result of their courses being postponed, the absence of the tuition that they would expect.

“What we hope is that they will get online learning that will allow them to continue with their degree courses

“But clearly there will be issues to do with the cost of their accommodations that we will have to look at as a Government and see what arrangements the universities are making to deal with the reasonable concerns by many, many students.

“I want to thank students for the sacrifice you are making in staying away from university, learning online as you have to like all other students and pupils in the next few weeks and months.

“I know it’s a big sacrifice but I believe sincerely that it will be worth it for the reopening of education and reopening of our lives.”

The latest restrictions from the Government is that students should stay home, learning online, rather than travelling to campus.

This is in order to avoid a dramatic rise in coronavirus cases similar to that seen in September.

Lead Image: Pippa Fowles / Number 10 Downing Street

By Matt Lee

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