Some collective nouns (police/cattle) are always used in the plural.
With the rest, there is a marked tendency in BrE to use plural verbs, which is less common in AmE, and I do get the occasional email from the States about this usage. Here we're thinking of the students of the school rather than the institution, so the plural sounds far better to my ears. I could say 'the company is/are doing well', where it could be the institution or the people, but I would only say 'the company is being being sold' because that's focusing on the legal entity not the staff. Some AmE speakers I have spoken to about this on forums find this relaxed attitude towards plural verbs in such cases grates and sounds wrong.
Student or Learner