I saw up close the trials of university life in a pandemic. We should have done better… | Will Hutton

An excess of optimism combined with anxieties about money fuelled a series of errors

The trouble with universities is they are both places of teaching, learning and research – and enormous hotels. In the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, they are like stationary cruise ships embedded in nearly all our major cities with tens of thousands of socially active students on board.

It was inevitable that the arrival of a million students was going to be accompanied by serious outbreaks of coronavirus and so it is proving. But with more realism about what was likely to occur and a greater willingness to take the financial hit, much of what is about to happen could have been avoided.

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