Editor: Worried parents, excited kids and a new city to call home

The students are back and what a welcome day that is for Sheffield.The sight of worried parents helping to unload cars full of essential stuff – especially tons of things that will never get used – doesn’t half make me smile.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 6:50 am
Thousands of students are arriving in Sheffield this week

You can overhear the conversations around the supermarkets as the teenagers try to politely decline all the cans of food parents are thrusting upon them.

‘Everyone will think I’m a hoarder if I put that in my room,’ I heard one chastise yesterday.

You can spot them a mile off and it is usually the older members of the family who are most nervous.

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The young ones wave them off happily before heading to the pub with strangers who will become their best friends for the next three years.

It isn’t just the spending on booze which Sheffield’s economy has missed so much during lockdown and the summer holidays. In fact, international students pump £290 million into Sheffield every year.

Analysis of the 2018/19 academic year makes Sheffield Central the top constituency in the country for ‘net economic impact’ - worth an average of £2,520 per person.

In total, international students bring in £25.9bn to the UK, according to Universities UK International.

But, of course, there is a massive uplift from students who have only travelled from another part of the country too.

It is just what our cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs need. Won’t it be nice for thousands of newcomers to explore the best city in the world as they declare it their new home?

I do appreciate that things might still be slightly different post pandemic and we must hope that everyone will be careful.

Both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University have said they are looking forward to welcoming the students back onto their campus after the past two academic years saw much teaching switching to online.

However, both institutions have assured the students that they will continue to follow public health guidance to stem the spread of the virus.

They are encouraging all staff and students to take up the offer of both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

They will also continue to support local vaccination efforts, such as hosting pop-up vaccination clinics on campus.