Lockdown university students are currently paying nine thousand pounds per year for an 80% studio course with no studio access

Every school is being affected by the decisions around our education system. Since 2015 every Prime Minister has claimed to be putting more money into schools than ever before. But the hard truth is that nearly all schools in England are worse off now than five years ago.

In 2015, David Cameron promised that his government would continue to protect school funding. 

During the 2017 election, Theresa May promised to spend £4bn more. 

In 2019, Boris Johnson promised to level up school funding and ensure no more winners and losers. 

But even if you fast-forward to the highest point in the Prime Minister’s plan, in three years, our schools will still be reeling from a £1.3bn funding shortfall in 2022/23 compared with 2015/16 — the biggest in a generation. 

How is the current pandemic affecting university students?

The most prevalent issue for current university students is the substantial tuition fees still being paid. The standard fee in England is £9,250 per academic year. The standard fee for International students is a whopping £12,750 per year. Many of these students have had to return to their countries of origin thousands of miles away from the university they pay so much to ‘attend’.

Why are these costs too much to ask for?

Let’s say you plan to go out for a meal one weekend. The restaurant asks you to pay for the meal ahead of time. Feeling confused as to why you’re expected to pay for your meal before you eat it, you politely do so anyway. Once at the trendy restaurant, your waiter comes up to your table halfway through your dinner date and takes your unfinished plate away. Frustrated and hangry, you try to fill up on the breadbasket that is left on the table. Moments later, the restaurant manager exclaims “right were closing due to the pandemic, everyone out”. You’d quite rightly expect a full refund in this situation, right? So why would we treat university students paying for their education any differently? 

Under section 56 of the consumer rights act; students who have received a substandard quality of education this semester are entitled to a refund.

How do you request a refund on your tuition fees?

Go to the quality assurance agency to check if you have a case.

Complain directly to the university – they can refund students directly.

If the university does not refund you, go to The Office of Independent Adjudication and fill out a complaints form.

Here are some petitions you can sign that could have an impact on this current education crisis.

Students need wifi to have access to online learning. Pay for the wifi services that are compulsory for students who are living and learning in student homes. Here is a petition to fund free wifi for university students forced into online learning.

Call on the government to consider holding debates in Parliament between MPs and university students to raise/discuss issues that affect them. It will allow students to voice their opinions and concerns about tuition fees of £9250 a year which are too high, especially as grants have been removed. Here is a petition to reduce university tuition fees from £9250 to £3000.

This is an open letter to the universities across the UK from their students, intended to lay out our concerns regarding the necessary changes to teaching this academic year and to dispute the failure to introduce national, fair mitigation policies to protect our futures. 

You can also get more resources via social media with the hashtags #9kforwhat and #saveourgrades

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