Stirling this week began the mass Covid testing of asymptomatic students before they return home for Christmas.
Students are being asked to take two quick turn-around “lateral flow tests” - although this is not compulsory - and the university say uptake so far has been “extremely good.”
As part of a plan to screen all students across the country, they will take two tests around three days apart.
If both tests are negative students will then travel home as soon as possible.
The tests - which are self-administered - return results within an hour.
Should a student test positive, they will be asked to self-isolate.
A University of Stirling spokesperson said: “Uptake by students in the initial days of the testing initiative has been extremely good, and we are pleased to be supporting them to be able to return safely to their family homes for the festive period.
“By participating in the no symptoms testing programme, and ensuring they have two negative test results before beginning their journey, our students are acting responsibly and in the interests of not only their own health and safety, but that of their family, friends, and the wider public.”
First year journalism student Edwin Finsterbusch told the Observer that he is heading home to Edinburgh for Christmas and not planning to return to Stirling after the festive period.
The 19-year-old said he has found his first semester at university “pretty rough.”
Originally from Germany, he left his family home in Edinburgh to move into Stirling student accommodation in September.
Edwin said: “At first, I was a bit anxious about moving into accommodation. First of all because of the virus and all the risks that are taken when moving in with other people from across the country. But also all the anxieties that come with moving to a new place.”
The student experience has not been what Edwin was expecting, he said as all his work has been online rather than being delivered through “blended learning”.
He told the Observer: “This semester has been pretty rough. Due to the virus, social interaction and making friends has been especially difficult. That is why I plan to move back to my home in Edinburgh for the second semester. I just can’t justify paying the money I am for the experience I am getting, especially with everything being online. From announcements we have gotten it looks like things will likely stay the same for the second semester.”
The university said it is still making plans as to what will happen after the Christmas break. A spokesperson said: “For the return to teaching in January we are liaising closely with the Scottish Government and other partner organisations, including NHS Scotland.
“This will ensure our plans are consistent with the sector’s national approach, and comply with all relevant government Covid-19 guidance that applies at that time.”
Click here for more news and sport from the Stirling area.