Student Complaints Over Online Fees Are Being ‘Ignored’

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After their petitions for reimbursement have been rejected, a number of protesting university students have said they are being ‘completely ignored.’

As published by BBC, many students’ petitions for the UK government regarding current university fees have been constantly rejected. One example is that of Sophie Quinn from University of Liverpool, whose collected 330,000 signatures were swiftly ignored by the House of Commons Petitions Committee.

Quinn complained that students felt ‘angry and let down’ after their teaching was moved online.  She also referenced the large amount of UCU strikes that universities have also been a part of this year which, as well as the Covid-19 outbreak, has severely reduced the quality of teaching and the university experience altogether.

Particular qualms that were brought forward in the petition were:

  • the variable quality of lessons taught online
  • no access to campus facilities
  • lack of contact with staff
  • paying rent on accommodation they were not using

Quinn also added that, ‘as students we feel we have been completely ignored,’ after her plea for a full of partial reimbursement was rejected. It was added in the proposal that it is not clear how students’ fees were being spent, considering most university services have been postponed.

In response, the President of Universities UK, Julia Buckingham, said that universities were under ‘severe financial pressure,’ and reimbursing students could ‘put some institutions at risk.’

Buckingham added that if students were interested in reimbursements they should go through their university’s complaints procedure. However, Quinn retaliated saying that this is an ineffective use of the university’s resources, and that undergoing the grievance claim for each student separately would cost more than it is worth.

This all comes after Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, said that there is no real complaint as long as the quality of teaching is still present. However, with the lack of regulations over online learning, many students are receiving a lack of communication and quality learning.

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