Students should consider legal action against universities, lawyer tells LBC

28 September 2020, 17:41

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A leading lawyer has told LBC universities should offer rebates to students who have been impacted by Covid quarantines.

Aamer Anwar, Glasgow-based lawyer and former Rector of the University of Glasgow has told LBC's Eddie Mair that students who are forced to quarantine should look at legal action against universities.

The lawyer told LBC that things should have been better planned for the return of students and that they should have been given the option to stay at home and do online teaching.

Mr Anwar said this would have "drastically reduced the number of students staying in halls that are quite dangerous for the spread of the infection."

Coronavirus university rules explained: Are students shut in halls allowed to go home?

He told Eddie that "the impact of these clusters would have been greatly reduced."

The lawyer told LBC universities should "offer rebates to students" and admit they "got it wrong."

He said the "sting in the tail" was that while students have "every right to terminate their lease, but then the problem is the university says 'we expect you to pay the rest of the term'."

"It's just simply not good enough," Mr Anwar said.

When Eddie asked if he would recommend students take legal action against universities Mr Anwar said he thought universities stand "accused of acting unlawfully in a whole number of areas."

Adding that "university senior management" should be the ones answering questions.

"What exactly have they been doing?" He asked.

Branding it an "absolute, unmitigated disaster," Mr Anwar said students and student unions should be looking into taking legal action.

Read more: James O'Brien questions: "Did universities allow students to return to get money in the bank?"

Read more: 'It's a breach of their human rights' - lawyer warns over students in quarantine

Earlier, Students self-isolating at universities are "trapped" in "disgusting conditions", the president of the National Union of Students (NUS) has said.

Read more: Manchester police say enforcing university quarantine is 'not a policing issue'

Read more: Which UK universities are locked down?

Appearing on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Larissa Kennedy said: "I'm hearing from some students across the country where there are security guards outside of these blocks where students are being kept, stopping people from leaving, coming and going, where students are being discouraged from getting deliveries and told by the university that they'll deliver food and that delivery has not arrived and so they've gone for the day without food.

"I've heard from other students who, they've turned up with an amount of toilet roll, told with no notice that they're going to be locked down and wondering where the next roll of toilet roll is coming from.

"It just feels like these are disgusting conditions for students to have been trapped in."