Residents of Fallowfields halls, at the University of Manchester, woke to see that their accommodation had been surrounded with 7ft high metal fencing with one student describing it as “prison-like”.
Officials say the fencing was put in place to address security concerns, “particularly about access by people who are not residents”.
The fencing was eventually taken down by the university, but by that point most of it had been removed by students.
Some of the students said they acted because they were not warned about the measure. The university has acknowledged that “work began ahead of the message being seen”.
Others said that they felt trapped by the fencing as there were no gaps between it and it cut off multiple entry and exit points to the campus.
The university apologised for “for the concern and distressed caused”.
One student, who asked not to be named, said: “It made me feel so trapped and imprisoned and I really can’t believe that they would ever do something this stupid and ignorant.”
The student went on to say: “It really shows how cut off from student life they are, that they didn’t realise the impact this would have on students who may already be struggling from mental health problems because of the lockdown and not being able to see their families”.
The new lockdown rules in England say that university students should not travel back to their permanent homes during term time.
Meanwhile in Lincoln…
Cries have been heard at the University of Lincoln over the continuation of face-to-face learning with comments being left on the University’s Facebook page.
Students raised concerns over commuting to and from surrounding areas, such as Nottingham, and whether they would still be able to do so.
Universities minister, Michelle Donelan, posted an open letter to students over their concern and said, “we are prioritising education so that there is no gap in your academic journey”.