Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead has confirmed that he had failed to consult with students bodies ahead of new restrictions being placed on students across the country.
During questions in the Scottish Parliament, Shadow Education Minister Jamie Halcro Johnston challenged Mr Lochhead on what discussions he’d held with NUS Scotland before new restrictions, described by some as “draconian” and “rushed out”, were announced late on Friday afternoon.
In his response, Mr Lochhead confirmed that no consultation with NUS Scotland had taken place about the restrictions, claiming it was a “a matter for Universities Scotland to take forward”.
Speaking later, Mr Halcro Johnston said: “The Scottish Government’s mishandling of this episode has caused great anxiety to students and to their parents.
“The lack of proper consultation with students’ representatives is just another example of their shambolic approach and why their heavy-handed actions had to be rowed back on so quickly.
“Richard Lochhead has appeared all at sea ever since this crisis in our universities blew up and he really needs to get a grip.
“Our students, many of whom will have been away from home for the very first time, deserve a lot better than this.
“Mr Lochhead needs to recognise that the Scottish Government has a duty of care to our young people.
“After failing to consult with student bodies over these new restrictions, and having previously ignored warning over the real risk of outbreaks in halls of residence, confidence in Mr Lochhead’s handling of this situation is at an all-time low.”