UK Universities and Schools have declared Quarantine fee financial assistance for the international students from red list countries.
The UK government re-issued the Red List amid the emergence of Omicron mutation of COVID19 virus. The list contains the names of 11 African (continent is the first to record the appearance of virus variant) countries, South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia.
As per the conditions attached to the Red List, the travellers from these countries shall have to quarantine themselves in government provided accommodation for a period of 10 days, this quarantine shall have to be funded by the traveller themselves at a cost of £2,285.
In the light of these regulations, educational institutions of the nation have noted the inclusion of Nigeria, which is a part of the UK International Education Strategy’s top 5 priority countries. As the January 2022 session is about to begin, students from Nigeria are expected to fly in huge numbers, however, the insistence of Quarantine fee is expected to overburden them with financial restraints.
Many universities have announced full or partial reimbursement of the quarantine fee for the international students arriving in the UK from the listed countries.
Swansea University, University of Exeter, University of Nottingham, University of Bath, Loughborough University, University of Manchester and University of Gloucestershire are some of the fore-front runners of the reimbursement support.
University of Gloucestershire has announced partial reimbursement of £1,210 and additional aid in PCR testing on arrival in the UK and travel to Gloucestershire.
The conditions of red list demand the accepted arrivals to be either British or Irish origin or have residential rights in the UK. While the government has not clarified the status of international student visa holders in this regard, department of education guidelines admit student visas to have residential rights attached.
The sudden emergence and cross-lapping of the January 2022 session has put the government in a state of emergency with the probable shortage in accommodation centres. As a result priority and super priority visas from the Red List countries have been suspended. It is expected that student visas might be delayed and online education might return as a preferred alternative by the UK educational institutions.
The government has also authorised student boarding facilities to act as quarantine centres for the students.
It is noted by the bilateral professional of years, Mark Brooks, that Nigerian students have been coming to the UK for the last 13 years, and the upcoming Christmas festival may also see departure and re-return of the already residing students from the country. In this case the institutions which do not come forward to assist and aid the students of Red List countries, especially Nigeria, shall suffer severe and adverse consequences in future as the nation comprises one of the major and important markets for the UK in terms of international education.
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Source: The PIE News