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COVID-19: Uni cancels 2021 graduation ceremonies

LIVE UPDATES FROM THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

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If you feel like you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, please follow the advice from the National Health Service – found here and NHS Inform. Stay Safe, Save Lives.

Mon Mar 1 2021: 2021 Graduations cancelled

Harry Williamson

Graduation ceremonies for the class of 2021 have been cancelled.

Following Scottish Government and public health advice, the university has said that all students who are due to graduate will receive a PDF copy of their degree and will graduate in absentia.

Students will also have their degree certificates mailed to them.

The University Secretary Eileen Schofield said in an announcement to students;

“I appreciate that graduation is a significant milestone in your life and a day that you, your family and friends will have been looking forward to for some time.

“It is with regret that I deliver the disappointing news about our 2021 ceremonies – however, I trust you will appreciate that the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, graduates, staff and the general public is of paramount importance and continues to be our primary concern.”

The university will be in touch with students for mailing out their degree certificates and for virtual graduation celebrations.

All students due to graduate will be invited to in-person celebrations when it is safe to do so.

2021 Graduations have been postponed. Credit: University of Stirling

Mon Feb 15 2021: 22 new COVID cases reported in Stirling

22 new coronavirus cases have been reported in the Stirling area, bringing the total number of people who have tested positive to 2,663.

There were 53 new cases reported across the whole of Forth Valley, bringing the region’s total positive cases to 9,683.

559 new cases were reported across Scotland.


Jan 7 2021: Sturgeon extends staggered return till February

The staggered return to universities has been extended until the end of next month.

At the daily coronavirus briefing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that due to rising cases, students have been asked not to return to university campuses until the end of February.

Speaking at the briefing Sturgeon said:

“I can confirm that the staggered return to term-time accommodation will now be extended.

“Learning and teaching will be online only until the end of February.

“That means if you are a student then you should stay at home rather than travelling back to your campus or term-time accommodation.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that staggered returns to universities will be until the end of February.

Jan 6, 2021: Students are being asked to stay in their current households and not return to university accommodation, is possible.

The Scottish Government has said students should not return to their term-time address unless it is necessary.

Students who need to return to their university accommodation are able to.

The University have said for students returning to their accommodation, it will be a staggered return and students will have to book a return slot.

More information on booking a return slot can be found on the accommodation webpages.

Students returning have also been asked to to take two COVID-19 No-Symptoms test at the campus testing centre. The tests should be taken three days apart. Students can find more information and booking details here.

However, for students planning on returning to accommodation after 25 January, the Scottish Government has advised for these students to expect delays, more details will be available soon.

Students unable to return to their accommodation will be receive a credit each day to their accommodation account.

Additionally, Spring semester for undergraduates will start on the 18 January, where teaching will remain online until at least February with exceptions for those studying vocational courses.

Postgraduates courses will start on 1 February with online and in-person teaching planned.


BREAKING NEWS (Jan 4, 2021): From midnight tonight a lockdown will come into place for Scotland.

A strict ‘Stay at Home’ message has been announced by Nicola Sturgeon due to the rapid rise in cases.

People across Scotland are urged to stay at home for the rest of January, but the FM said that they could be extended.

Only two people from two households will be able to meet outdoors.

People in level four areas are only to leave home if absolutely necessary.

The majority of school pupils will be learning online until February. Only vulnerable children and the children of key workers will be going into schools.

Sturgeon said that the rate of community transmission is “too high” when talking about schools and remote learning.

Sturgeon added that over 100,000 people in Scotland have been vaccinated.


Dec 30, 2020: The First Minister has said tougher restrictions may be needed.

Nicola Sturgeon says tougher coronavirus restrictions cannot be ruled out with the rapid rise of new cases and the speed of transmission from the new variant becoming a growing concern.

Also, Scotland has seen the highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases with 2,045 new cases, with 42.8% of new positive tests being indicative to the new strain of the virus.

There has also been 43 new coronavirus deaths registered over the past 24 hours.

In Stirling 20 new positive cases of coronavirus have been detected.

People across Scotland have also been urged not to mix households and stay at home over Hogmanay.

Image credit: Canva

Nicola Sturgeon has also announced that the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine will be rolled out across the country from Monday.

The UK Government have already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, with Scotland receiving more than 8% of that amount based on the population.


Dec 26, 2020: University publishes guidance for students during lockdown.

The University of Stirling has published advice for students as mainland Scotland enters a three-week level 4 lockdown.

The advice on the university’s website covers what students should and should not do over the lockdown. It also provides an update on campus services and travel rules for students.

The university has urged that students follow Tier 4 restrictions, read the Scottish Government guidance, avoid socialising outwith their own households, download the protect Scotland app and book a test if they start showing coronavirus symptoms.

Students have been urged not to have any parties, meet more than one other household outdoors and have been encouraged to avoid public transport unless it is absolutely necessary.

All students were emailed the updated guidance to their university email account and it can be found on the university’s website.


Dec 26, 2020: Mainland Scotland now under Tier 4 lockdown.

Summary of Tier 4 restrictions from the Scottish Government,

As of 00:01 on Saturday December 26, every area in mainland Scotland is under a Tier 4 lockdown.

Lockdown will last for at least three weeks.

The decision was made following a rise in cases and following the discovery of two new coronavirus strains.

Tier 4 restrictions mean that pubs, cafes and restaurants will have to close (except for takeaway and delivery), alongside non-essential shops, hairdressers and barbers.

Universities will also continue with remote learning.


BREAKING NEWS (Dec 23, 2020): Second new Covid-19 strain identified in the UK.

  • Another new strain of coronavirus has been detected in the UK, The Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirms.
  • Hancock says there are two cases of another new variant which have been found in the UK.
  • Both are contacts of cases who have travelled from South Africa.

Scotland Statistics (Dec 23, 2020): 47 deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded in the past 24 hours.

  • 1,190 new confirmed cases of coronavirus were detected in the last 24 hours, bring the total in Scotland to 115,556.
  • The R number in Scotland is believed to be around the 1 mark.
  • In Stirling there was 24 new cases of coronavirus bringing the total to 1,623.
  • Forth Valley overall had 64 new confirmed coronavirus cases bringing to the total to 5,164.
  • In Forth Valley 43 patients are in hospital with Covid-19, with five being in ICU.
  • The Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman announced 56,676 people in Scotland received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech coronavirus vaccine. Freeman says the second doses will be completed by the end of January.
  • Also at todays FMQs, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon apologised for taking her mask off at a funeral wake. Sturgeon urges everyone and, ‘most importantly myself’ to follow the guidance and rules set out.

If you feel like you are experiencing any Coronavirus symptoms, please follow the advice from the National Health Service – found here and NHS Inform. Save Lives, Stay at Home.

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