Students across Scotland have been banned from going to pubs this weekend.
And those who have repeatedly violated the coronavirus guideline may be expelled from the university under the new rules amid much concern since the start of their term.
Representatives of higher education in Scotland met to discuss the various steps that would be taken.
It has been seen students download the Protect Scotland tracing app and are told not to come to bars on weekends.
Universities have now agreed to introduce a “yellow card, red card” system for violating student discipline that puts students and others at risk, which could result in them finishing their studies.
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But the National Union of Students says the move “unfairly blames students for spreading the coronavirus” and is unfair in treating students differently than the rest of the population.
Gary McCormack, convener of Universities Scotland, said: “University leaders express the full commitment of the Scottish Government to protect the student population and the larger population.
“We have already taken strict measures to ensure the protection of the university environment for education and student accommodation.
“We have seen most students live up to our expectations about responsible behavior, but the minority has not.
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“Everyone across the country is concerned to see students in dormitories testing positive for the virus and we will work decisively to tackle it.
“We will take additional steps to reduce the transmission of the virus in student housing structures to take broad measures already agreed with the Scottish Government.
“Taken together, we are confident that these will significantly help in controlling the virus in student dormitories and positively impacting the number of cases; some existing cases are still noticeable after the inevitable deadline has passed.
“Our top priority is ensuring that students who test positive and those who do well are well-supported and ready to return to their studies.
“We appreciate the fact that they expected students from the first few weeks at university, but they are critical of their role in suppressing the virus.”
Prime Minister Nikola Starzion tweeted: “To all students – I’m sorry that Kovid is making this special time in your life so difficult.
“But it won’t last forever, and the sooner we get the virus back under control, the sooner you’ll get back to normal. So, please do what you’re told.”
Universities have also agreed to increase staff attendance at student dormitories.
They said they would be “vigilant” against any directional violations and would also provide welfare and practical assistance to those who have experienced isolation.
The meeting was chaired by the university principal as well as Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead.
He said: “This is a welcome package of extracurricular activities, based on pre-existing clear guidelines, to help all students and staff comply with the rules and stay safe due to a welcome return to their studies.
“We all expect public health advice to be complied with, and as the new law takes effect tomorrow, more important agencies will make every effort to ensure that the rules are understood and followed – and if not, appropriate action is taken.”
“We know this is a difficult time for many students and we are grateful to them for the sacrifices they have made to protect themselves, their classmates and the wider community.”
Guilty game ‘unfair’
Mary Sr., a Scotland official at the University and College Union (UCU), said: “It is surprising that the Scottish Government and principals are blaming students for the outbreak of covid on university campuses.
“It was an incredibly contagious virus and students were encouraged to return to campus.
“UCU argues that remote and online work for universities should be done in line with other workplaces by default.”
Scottish President Matt Kirley added: “Tonight’s announcement, approved by the Scottish University and the Scottish Government, unjustifiably blames students for spreading the coronavirus and takes unreasonable steps to impose different rules on students in the adult population.”