Island ‘owes a huge debt of gratitude’ to uni students

STUDENTS have been thanked for how they conducted themselves during their time in the island over the holidays, while the future of exams on and off the island are under scrutiny.

The first flight back from Manchester for students arriving in Guernsey in December. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29095179)
The first flight back from Manchester for students arriving in Guernsey in December. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29095179)

Both the Bailiwick’s GCSE and A-level pupils and university students returning to the UK would have been sitting exams this year, but the UK government’s decision to enter a third lockdown has impacted on this.

States chief executive Paul Whitfield said Education was currently in talks with the UK exams regulator to confirm how qualifications would be awarded.

‘We have been here before last year with students facing the same level of uncertainty,’ he said.

‘We all want to give young people and their families that certainty as soon as possible.’

He said once guidance came through they would make it public.

Public Health director Dr Nicola Brink has paid testament to the behaviour of university students over the festive period.

‘A lot of them had extremely difficult experiences in their first term of their academic year in the UK,’ she said.

‘They came back, they self-isolated, they adhered to the policies, they behaved responsibly and I think we owe a huge debt of gratitude to them and note the contribution that they have made to keeping the island safe.’

She offered the gratitude of the Public Health services in their dealings with them too stating they had been ‘courteous and helpful’ and made their lives ‘as easy as possible’, as had the rest of the island’s residents.

Both Condor and Aurigny offered travel for students to and from Guernsey over the Christmas period, with Aurigny operating a series of special flights from Manchester, Gatwick, Southampton, Exeter, East Midlands and Bristol.

Most university students will start their term online, until at least mid-February.

A limited number of courses, like medicine and initial teacher training should return to face-to-face teaching as planned, but students will be tested on arrival or have to self-isolate.

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