Nicola Sturgeon said she understands the desire to experience the “messier” aspects of student life but has backed St Andrews University action after a freshers’ party Covid outbreak.
Scotland’s oldest university asked students to go into a voluntary lockdown when four students tested positive for the virus after an illegal party in a halls of residence.
University principal Professor Sally Mapstone wrote to students to ask them not to attend parties or socialise with those outside their household group.
You want to immerse yourself in all of that including the messier bits along the way.”
Nicola Sturgeon on being a student
The cases were raised at the first minister’s daily coronavirus briefing when Ms Sturgeon said: “The guidance to universities does put a lot of responsibility on institutions to do the right thing. But I support the action that St Andrews University has taken and we continue to do everything we can to support universities.”
National Clinical Director Jason Leitch agreed the university’s response was “proportionate”.
But Ms Sturgeon added that she could remember her own student experience at Glasgow University, although she conceded it “was not yesterday”.
“Student life is much more about your lectures and your lessons and what you learn. It is an experience. It is a way of life. You want to immerse yourself in all of that including the messier bits along the way,” Ms Sturgeon said. “And nobody likes to be in a position right now where students are not able to do that. I totally sympathise with that.
“But the advice we are giving right now is for a reason. It is about not being complacent about your own risk. It is maybe more for older people but it is not non-existent and we know there are health implications for a lot of young healthy people. But it is also about making sure all of us are acting in a way that is not increasing risk for other, more vulnerable people around us.”