AN education union has set five key tests for the sector over university reopening.

The University and College Union (UCU) Scotland says the requirements must be met “so students, parents and staff can be confident of a safe working environment as lockdown restrictions ease”.

Plans are under way to prepare for the next academic year in the autumn. Some institutions are to change term dates, with Dundee University delaying its start by three weeks and Glasgow University pushing some course start dates into January next year.

Others have announced plans for dual teaching to allow some lessons to take place over the web.

Colleges begin earlier in August, with both Dundee and Angus College and North East Scotland College both warning their students that the date is “subject to change”.

UCU Scotland has called for authorities and students to support its five tests before moving more staff and students back on to university campuses and into workplaces.

UCU Scotland official Mary Senior said: “The safety of students and staff must be paramount if we are to counter the damage being done by the UK’s appalling record on Covid-19. We need assurances that health, safety and wellbeing are the top priorities.

“It is vital that universities work with trade unions to agree university-wide strategies for a safe return which, crucially, includes protection for the vulnerable.”