Gloucester's Hartpury University to make Covid jabs compulsory for students living on campus

Nurse administers covid vaccine
Hartpury University and College wants all students to be vaccinated, unless exempt for medical reasons. Credit: PA

A university and college in Gloucestershire has banned unvaccinated students from living on site.

Hartpury University and College has also told students they may have limited access to social events and clubs if they do not get the Covid-19 jab.

First reported in The Telegraph, the specialist agricultural and veterinary nursing college is thought to be the first higher education institution in the England to make vaccination mandatory for applicants.

Hartpury, which also runs a number of equestrian courses, has also imposed the requirement on anyone wishing to keep a horse in its stables.

Activities and social events will be risk assessed by the university on a case-by-case basis. Credit: Google

The organisation has a total of 3,600 students - around 1,800 of which attend Hartpury University and a further 1,800 who go to Hartpury College.

A spokesperson for Hartpury University and Hartpury College said: "Students who are not intending to engage with the vaccination programme will still be able to attend all of their in-person teaching on campus, but will not be able to reside in Hartpury on-site accommodation (unless they are exempt due to medical reasons).

"We have taken this decision to protect our student, staff and wider communities, and offer all of our university and college students the best possible experience in this forthcoming academic year."

A total of 3,600 students attend Hartpury University and Hartpury College. Credit: Google

"The Students’ Union is in full support of our vaccination requirements for students who wish to live on campus.

"Feedback on our stance from parents and students, and from a record numbers of applicants, has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Students are also being advised to do a lateral flow test for coronavirus before they travel to the campus. Once they have arrived, the university expects them to take another two tests, three or four days apart.

The university says it has put in a range of precautionary Covid-19 measures before the start of term:

  • Testing arrangements (before arrival, on arrival and ongoing)

  • Student engagement in the vaccination programme

  • Operating its own Track and Trace system alongside the NHS system

  • Continuing with extra cleaning, ventilating and hand sanitising

  • Continue to have Mask Zones within certain areas of the campus

  • Risk-assessing all activities and put in place measures on a case-by-case basis

The Government has stopped short of demanding students in higher education get a jab, but is "strongly encouraging" all those who are eligible to get one.

In a recent statement, a spokesman for the Department for Education said: "The Government currently has no plans to require the use of the NHS Covid Pass for access to learning.

"However, universities and further education colleges are encouraged to promote the offer of the vaccine and should continue to conduct risk assessments for their particular circumstances."