University of Central Lancashire spends £1.2 million on extra Covid-19 measures

The University of Central Lancashire has spent over £1.2 million on extra measures to make sure its campuses are Covid-safe environments.

Freedom of Information requests - asking how much was spent between March and September last year on extra coronavirus safety measures - were sent to 57 universities by Research Professional News.

The request also asked for breakdowns, where possible, of the amount of money spent on PPE, signage and communication, screens, hand sanitiser and staff and student testing.

The University of Central Lancashire spent £1,204,000 overall on additional measures, including:

The university spent £56,000 on face coverings Credit: PA

The figures come as the majority of university students in England have been told to stay at home and not return to campus until at least mid-February, which has prompted calls for greater financial support for students.

Universities UK (UUK) has called on the Government to "seriously consider" the financial implications for students and institutions amid the pandemic

The data reveals that Kingston University in London spent £2,578,000 on additional measures amid the pandemic - including £1 million on supporting students through extra hardship funds and bursaries.

The figures come as a number of universities have taken the decision to move lessons online until even later in the year amid the tighter restrictions, which has sparked calls for tuition fee refunds and rent rebates on student halls.

A spokesperson for the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) said:

"As a result, we have invested approximately £1.2 million across our three UK campuses to support our students and ensure Covid-safe environments for students to study in."

A UUK spokeswoman said: "This data reveals the extent of the additional demands faced by universities throughout the course of the pandemic.

"Universities have spent significant amounts on hardship funds, supporting students to have the right equipment and resources to study, and ensuring they have access to online services, from financial support and careers advice to support for mental health and wellbeing."