Aberdeen University threatens students breaking rules with £250 fines with landlords used for enforcement

Students at Aberdeen University have been threatened with fines of up to £250 as part of a crackdown on students breaching coronavirus regulations.

Monday, 28th September 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 28th September 2020, 12:41 pm
Aberdeen University have threatened students with £250 fines for breaching restrictions
Aberdeen University have threatened students with £250 fines for breaching restrictions

Officials at the university wrote to students on Sunday warning them would be contacting landlords, including in privately rented flats, to help with the enforcement of the measures.

Across Scotland, students were told to stay at home and not socialise in bars, pubs and restaurants over the weekend by the universities’ representative body Universities Scotland in measures backed by Nicola Sturgeon.

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Students were expected to go to work in hospitality and retail, but were threatened with expulsion via a yellow and red card disciplinary system if found to breaking the rules of visiting other households.

Late on Sunday, the Scottish Government issued new advice to students around returning home from campus, softening their stance and allowing students to leave in certain circumstances.

Debbie Dyker, Aberdeen University’s acting director of operations, wrote to students outlining the potential disciplinary actions.

She said: “I am writing following reports of breaches of national Covid-19 related guidance within private halls this weekend. I am disappointed to hear these reports, especially in light of the various communications that have been issued to our community in the last week.

“I must stress the importance of heeding the recently updated Scottish Government guidelines, which state that visits to other households are not permitted – this means that students in one flat must not visit other flats, even when they are in the same halls, whether these are University or private halls.

“Given the events of the last few days I want to emphasise that any breaches will not be tolerated, and those found to be breaking the rules will face robust action.

“Sanctions include a fine of up to £250 as well as the potential for further action – including suspension and/or expulsion – under our Code of Conduct on Student Discipline (non academic).”

The threats included a note stating the university was “in contact” with landlords and has asked for any breaches are reported to the university to allow for an investigation.

On Twitter, students and others criticised the measures with one stating universities were “profiteering off of the pandemic”.

The University of Aberdeen have been contacted for comment.

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