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University allegedly forcing students stranded in lockdown to pay £750 to have possessions removed from halls – or face “disposal”

STUDENTS stuck in quarantine say they are being forced to pay £750 to have their belongings shipped home from halls or face having them “disposed” of.

The University of Stirling emailed its students on Monday , giving them just two weeks notice and a three hour slot to collect their possessions.

Many have long since left the accommodation following the outbreak of coronavirus and say lockdown rules prevent them from returning.

Stirling University students face charges of up to £750 to get their belongings
One of the students room that they left their possessions thinking it was secure. Image supplied

The email informed students they had to reply by 10 July stating their plans or “arrangements will be made for the removal and disposal of any items left in the flat.”

Among those affected is student Nathalie Hollede, from Denmark, who pointed out that she faces a 14 day quarantine if she returns to the UK.

She says she was told by the university to contact a courier service who quoted her £750 – but refused to do the packing for her.

Nathalie claims it is “impossible” for EU and International students to collect their stuff as they have no place to stay, as all hotels and Airbnbs are closed until July 14.

Stirling University students face charges of up to £750 to get their belongings
Foreign students at the University of Stirling are facing charges up to £750 for their belongings to be shipped home. (C) Nathalie Hollede

Scottish students also face a similar predicament, with official government advice limiting travel to five miles.

Now Stirling Students Tenants Union have set up a petition to get the date extended by the University.

Volunteers are looking into renting a storage space for affected students to pick up at a later date, at a cost of around £275.

Speaking today, Nathalie said: “They recommended some companies, which ask for between £499-750 to pack and move.

Stirling University students face charges of up to £750 to get their belongings
Students were told that they have to reply within the time allotted by the email or they would “dispose” of their belongings (C) Nathalie Hollede

“For a student this is crazy. Normal humans take days to pack boxes, and arrange for them to be loaded up, and taken away.

“The reason this is such a huge stab in the back is not one, but many.

“The university isn’t allowing overnight stays at our accommodation, which makes moving impossible if we come from abroad and have a quarantine”.

“In short, they’re violating agreements, essentially evicting with short notice, and not answering any questions or responding to any of our requests for an extension for international students and those of us abroad.”

“We need an extension that considers the legal restrictions for travel into the UK! Because this is simply impossible for students who are abroad.

“And if not totally impossible, financially impossible.”

Stirling University students face charges of up to £750 to get their belongings
A ground view of one of the campuses that students stayed in accommodation would have studied in

A spokesman for the University of Stirling said: “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University extended the departure period for all students in our accommodation.

“We are conducting a deep clean of all of our rooms.

“To facilitate this work, former tenants who have left belongings in their rooms have been asked to inform the University by July 10 whether they intend to uplift their items.

“In line with Scottish Government guidance, those students who get in touch will be supported in making appropriate arrangements for the safe pick up, storage or disposal of their belongings.

“In cases where international travel restrictions prevent the collection of belongings, we will work with students to facilitate safe storage.

“The majority of students who left belongings behind have already booked a collection slot, and those who have not have until July 10 to get in touch.

“If the University has not heard from students by this deadline, their former rooms will be cleared to enable cleaning work to begin, as the University is unable to store students’ belongings indefinitely.”


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