Nearly 250k students call for refund of tuition fees amid coronavirus
Nearly 250,000 UK students call for a refund of tuition fees after coronavirus shut universities while thousands face rent demands on their vacant lodgings
- Sophie Quinn, 21, a 3rd year at Liverpool University posted the petition days ago
- She said the quality of her university experience this year is ‘not worth £9250’
- COVID-19 has caused universities across the UK to shutter down and halt all on-campus learning
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Almost 250,000 UK students have called for a refund of their tuition fees after universities were forced to close down due to the coronavirus while thousands face rent demands on accommodation they are unable to use.
The online petition, which had been signed by 270,000 UK students on Thursday evening, demands a refund of all tuition fees from this academic year due to overall dissatisfaction with university experience amid the coronavirus outbreak.
‘University quality is poor this year and certainly not worth up to £9,250,’ reads the petition, posted by Sophie Quinn, 21, a geography undergraduate at the University of Liverpool.
‘Universities are now online only due to COVID-19, with only powerpoints online for learning materials which is not worthy of up to £9,250.’
The online petition, which had been signed by 270,000 UK students on Thursday evening (pictured), demands a refund of all tuition fees from this academic year due to overall dissatisfaction with university experience amid the coronavirus outbreak
Sophie Quinn, 21, a third year Geography Undergraduate at the University of Liverpool, said that the £9,250 per year tuition fees should be refunded this year due to the poor experience of students
Fears of the spread of COVID-19 in the UK over the past two weeks has led universities across the country to shutter down, banning on-campus activities, but asking students to continue working towards their degrees from home.
‘Field trips have also been cancelled which our tuition fee was to pay for,’ the petition added.
Quinn, who is from Maidenhead in Berkshire, told the Guardian that students no longer have a graduation date to look forward to and ‘a lot of people are demotivated to do the work’.
She also claimed students are ‘not getting what we paid for’, as tuition fees are often used to pay for ‘libraries and upkeep of buildings’.
Pictured: An undated file photo of the University of Liverpool. Fears of the spread of COVID-19 in the UK over the past two weeks has led universities across the country to shutter down, banning on-campus activities, but asking students to continue working towards their degrees from home
Industrial action in February, where teachers stopped teaching for 14 days at 74 UK universities, also disrupted student experience this year, Quinn said.
She told the Tab earlier this week that despite ‘pushing through’ during the the strikes and meeting the deadlines she was set, teachers failed to reach their marking deadlines.
The 21-year-old added that ‘this year has now been moved online and last time I checked I didn’t sign up to The Open University.’
While Quinn voiced dissatisfaction with the quality of teaching and university experience, others have found themselves locked in to accommodation contracts for properties they are unable to use.
One first year student, a resident at Dobbie’s Point private halls in Glasgow, Petros Passos, told the Guardian that the hall management provider, Student Roost, had sent warnings that his case could be taken to a debt recovery agency after he was unable to make his monthly payments.
He left the halls to stay with his mother in London, who he said is a key worker.
‘It’s very stressful,’ Passos said. ‘It’s very unfair and unethical to do this, they’re not worried about reputational damage because they can open another building and move on.’
A spokesperson for Student Roost told the Guardian they would be making an exception to their normal cancellation policies to help the students. They agreed to cancel payments from 1 May if they planned to leave the accommodation.
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