Thousands of students move onto campus amid rise in cases among young people

Christine Alsford reports on the mass student migration to our region that is under way.

Interviewees: Cllr Dr Louise Upton, Oxford City Council; John Kirk, Academic Registrar Oxford Brookes University; Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire Director of Public Health; Niamh Walter, student; Professor Parveen Yaqoob, University of Reading Pro Vice-Chancellor

University students have started arriving in towns and cities across the South for the start of the academic year. It comes as cases of Covid 19 among young people are rising. Many of our towns and cities - including Oxford, Southampton and Brighton - will see influxes of more than 30,000.

Oxford Brookes is one of many universities across the south expecting thousands of new students in the coming days

Stringent measures are in place on campuses including one way systems and masks in communal areas. Most universities are aiming for a blend of online and face to face learning.

Strict measures are in place to protect students starting and returning to university

Public health officials say new rules banning social gatherings of more than six people from Monday should help keep infections under control - particularly where students are living in private accommodation.

Ansaf Azhar, Director of Public Health for Oxfordshire says current infections are at a level of around 15 per 100,000 and students need to adhere to the rules.

Students at Oxford Brookes are among the first to resume their studies this year.

The University's Academic Registrar John Kirk said: "We're confident things like our test and trace policies and the testing facilities we have will help us manage this. We have very sensible outbreak response plans as well which we will be able to call upon if necessary."

Students have started arriving at Oxford Brookes Credit: ITV Meridian

Niamh Walter from the Student Union says they're encouraging students to act responsibly and it's unfair to solely blame young people when everyone had been out socialising this summer.

At the University of Reading students will be staying in household flats or bubbles to stop the spread of the virus. Anyone who needs to self isolate because they have symptoms will have to remain in their study bedroom and put a sticker on the door to warn people not to come in.

Stickers will be put in the doors of students who need to self isolate Credit: ITV Meridian

Lecture theatres are only using a quarter of the seats and masks need to be worn. There are also one way systems and hand sanitising stations.

Lecture theatres are only using a quarter of the seating Credit: ITV Meridian

Third year history student James Watts says he's comfortable with what has been put in place.

The University's Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Parveen Yaqoob says it's vital that students return after so much disruption to their education.

The Government have said in the event of outbreaks and cases students should remain at University and not return home.