I feel so sorry for the young people at University these days. They are not getting the value for money in their £9k plus for their tuition, then there is the cost of the flats which trust me are not cheap. When we were looking round for our son it was round about £135 a week. Seriously….£540 every 4 weeks. Some mortgages are not that in the North…..and then their outrageous treatment by Universities and Government Ministers who are just treating them as cash cows.

The halls of residence in some Universities are grotty, infact the place my son stayed looked like it had not had a lick of paint for years, the heating didn’t work and the room was just awful and that was one of the good ones. As you can imagine the complaints came quickly from me and I did not leave them alone until we go something done but you would not put a young person in such a place… not really. and can you imagine being locked down in such a dirty place?

To even make a suggestion that they have to stay locked down for Christmas is something that is just stupid to suggest. Students are already having a hard time with the costs they have to pay, the lack of teaching which lets face it before the breakdown was not that much and the mental health of some are strongly at risk. To then top it all of by saying they need to lock down will tip some over the edge and that cannot be allowed.

It is about time the Universities gave them back 80% of the costs. I am doing an Open University course and it is 80% less than the cost of the full time attendance, and the amount of time with the tutor far exceeds what the other Universities are currently offering. I have been in touch through correspondence with my tutor and the course is still a week away from officially starting. It is fully loaded on the page so I know what is needed, the books arrived in August and I have been good to go since then. It really is value for money.

I know that some who are studying the sciences will probably argue they need to go to University and that I fully understand, but surely the rest of them can do the equivalent of the OU, or the University could box clever and do the same and offer online courses of good quality so that the student can gain a degree from the University of their choice, but also able to save money as lets face….the courses are not worth the money these days.

Shame on those Universities who are taking money and doing nothing to offer to value for it, and who are offering very little in the way of help to these young people whose rights they are trampling over.

Students display signs questioning their fees in the windows at Manchester Metropolitan University's Cambridge Halls

The Students are not even allowed to put up messages on their windows, and we all know that Student politics are about advertising the message, and there are now security guards on the doors to stop people from going out or in. This is nothing more than a police state in that context and if one of my own children was at a University under this form of lock down they would be getting picked up, and no security officer would ever stop a mother getting to their child. We become almost rampaging silver back gorillas when someone stands between us and our babies.

The note sent to students of Manchester Metropolitan University with messages in the window

The messages of support are coming in quickly and I actually feel like I am becoming a bit of rebel, but when I was young the only way to experience life was either in the forces or at University. We could not afford University so off to the Army I went but that is not the case now and for me this is not how a University should behave. Give the young people their freedom after all we are told that the young do not overly become affected, and what about that herd mentality we hear about?

If a parent can guarantee that they will make sure their child isolates for 2 weeks at home….why cannot they not go at Christmas? My son is coming home and the only difference is that he has a flat away from the Campus. It was a decision that he would be better in a flat rather than the soul-less, lifeless halls of residence. Wild stallions will not stop me getting him and I don’t care if I get fined or even a criminal record, my son will be home for Christmas.

These rules are being made by people who do not have to worry about not being with their families, and I know I am a staunch Conservative supporter…..but WTF…COME ON….these are young people we are dealing with and one way or another this is crushing their desires to find out everything that is new, and forge a way ahead.

As a parent I can understand the anger of those with children stuck in the halls of residence, and the Government is not understanding the anger and despair of those living in. To actually put a security officer on the door to stop them going out is illegal, and to keep them there against their will could in a way be classed as depriving them of their liberty and human rights. Some clever Barrister is going to have a field day with the Universities on this one, and I hope they win…..

I do agree with the National Union of Students when they state ‘In what is looking set to be an increasingly unclear and volatile year for universities, we must seriously look at reimbursements for students whose quality of learning has been significantly impacted. ‘It is also essential that housing providers allow students who may decide to either leave university or return to family homes to end their rental contracts and not be penalised for making decisions based on their own safety and those of local communities.’

But this is what is greeting the young people and it needs to be stopped….

A university security guard takes the details of students leaving the halls at Manchester Metropolitan University this morning during a lockdown of their accommodation due to Covid
Students names being taken.
One flat displayed the message 'mental health comes first. Let us out' on their window
This is just so desperate.

Shame on those Universities who have not done anything to deal with this pandemic. After all there are supposed to be some of the brightest people teaching at these places and their response is almost fag packet planning. Guess they are only concerned with getting the money in.

I fully support whatever decision these students and their parents aim to take. We cannot lock up masses of young people. It is cruel and it is dangerous and there will be deaths as some will not be able to cope it and it will be on the Head of Governments Ministers if they don’t sort this god awful mess out.

Security at MMU's Birley Hall campus prevent a man from entering the locked down building
Security at MMU preventing a man going in or out.