COVID-19 update

Last updated:

30 July 2021: Update for students on travel, visas and accommodation arrival

Dear Student,

We are really looking forward to welcoming you to the University of Stirling campus in the coming weeks.

For many of you, vaccination, travel and quarantine arrangements will be part of your planning and we’re here to guide and support you to stay safe.

Please note, the information in this email is correct at the time of writing, however, government requirements for travellers arriving from green, amber and red list countries may be subject to change at short notice and you are advised to check the UK and Scottish Government websites for the most up-to-date information.

On-campus vaccination centre

Vaccination is the best route back to normality and you are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated before you arrive in Scotland, if possible.

However, if you aren’t able to get your vaccinations before travelling to Stirling, you will be able to receive your vaccine at our on-campus vaccination centre from 14 August. Anyone living in Scotland who requires a first or second dose of the vaccine can attend the new vaccination centre, including international students arriving on campus and those not yet registered with a GP.

Further details on the new centre will be shared in due course – including information on how to book your vaccine. General information on vaccines for international students can be found in the Scottish Government guide.

Staggered arrival to university-managed accommodation

For those of you staying in university accommodation in the next academic year, we will operate a carefully managed, staggered arrival over a period of several weeks. Arrivals will be operated through a booking system, and our Accommodation Services team will be in touch directly with relevant students by email. More information can be found here.

Further details about arrangements for students arriving from green, amber and red listed countries is set out below.

Travel to Stirling

The UK and Scottish Governments’ traffic light system for international travel remains in place, with those on the red list requiring government-managed quarantine.

You are strongly advised to keep up to date with the latest guidance around travel to and from the UK, as requirements and information can change at short notice. Please see the Scottish Government website for further information, alongside the UK Government website, if you plan to travel to Scotland via another part of the UK.

Students arriving from the UK or a green list country

Undergraduate students will be able to book an arrival timeslot at your university accommodation from Saturday 4 September through to Sunday 19 September, and postgraduate students will be able to book a slot from Monday 20 September to Sunday 3 October. Please do not book an earlier timeslot as these earlier arrivals are required for students travelling from amber list countries who need to self-isolate.

Students travelling from an amber list country

If you are travelling from (or through) an amber list country in the 10 days prior to arrival in Scotland, you will need to self-isolate in your own accommodation, unless you have been fully vaccinated in the UK. It has also been announced that fully vaccinated people from the EU and United States will be able to travel to Scotland without quarantining from Monday 2 August.

We’re also very pleased to confirm that if you are staying in university-managed accommodation for the coming academic year, and you choose to arrive prior to the course start date to begin your self-isolation, you will not be charged for this period.

Undergraduate students can book an earlier arrival timeslot from Saturday 28 August through to Sunday 19 September. Postgraduate students can also book an arrival slot from Monday 13 September through to Sunday 3 October.

Please try to arrive before Monday 6 September to allow you to complete your self-isolation prior to the start of the semester.

Students travelling from a red list country

We are in the last stages of discussions with the Scottish Government to finalise the possibility of the University of Stirling being authorised to host students from red list countries in our own university on-campus accommodation, as part of the managed quarantine hotel scheme. This means that on arrival into Edinburgh or Glasgow airports, students will be transported directly to Stirling rather than having to go to a government-managed hotel. Students will be fully supported by university staff in our accommodation during your 10-day (11 nights) quarantine period.

Please note, if you wish to avail of our on-campus managed quarantine hotel scheme, your first point of arrival into the UK must be either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport.

We hope this new scheme will be approved shortly and we expect that the costs will be substantially lower than those charged for the government-managed quarantine hotels.

Please note, any student from a red list country can apply to be supported in our on-campus managed quarantine accommodation – and not just students who have a place in university-managed accommodation for the rest of the year.

If you are travelling from a red list country and are interested in being supported in university-managed accommodation for your quarantine period, please complete this form as soon as possible.

EU and international student visa holders returning in 2021/22

Our plans for the autumn semester are now fully advanced, with our teaching timetable publishing shortly. We expect that the vast majority of our students will be present on campus in order to fully benefit from the student experience.

Students living outside the UK

In its latest update, the UK Government has advised that student visa holders can join remotely from their home country if COVID-related travel restrictions prevent them from attending classes in person. This concession will remain in place until 6 April, 2022. If you cannot arrive and enrol by the start of the autumn term, please contact our Student Immigration Team. Examples of travel restrictions include travel borders being closed, lack of capacity on flights or in managed quarantine hotels for red list country arrivals, or delays with visa processing offices.

If you have not yet applied and need a student visa to come to the UK, it is important that you apply for your CAS and student visa before the start of term. Students who need to start online due to travel restrictions will be expected to demonstrate that they have applied for permission to study in the UK, before they can commence studies overseas by distance learning.

Students already living in the UK

The UK Government has indicated that students who hold a student visa to study here will not be able to continue learning remotely from elsewhere in the UK, beyond the 27 September, 2021.

Students already in the UK will be required to attend their studies at the University in person through face-to-face or blended learning. If students in the UK do not attend in person, universities will be required to withdraw sponsorship of their visa. Therefore, to retain their student visa status, students already in the UK will need to be present at their university, in person, by 27 September.

All students

Once you have arrived at Stirling, you will be required to attend classes through face-to-face or blended learning. Student visa holders must follow UK Home Office visa regulations and any relevant quarantining requirements, so it is important that you plan your travel and accommodation arrangements in advance.

We very much look forward to welcoming you back and will continue to update you ahead of the new semester as we have new information.

Best wishes

Eileen Schofield
University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer
COVID Response Lead

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