Petition to reimburse tuition fees: your stories and the Government’s responseWatch
The Petitions Committee (a group of MPs from across the political parties) launched an inquiry to explore the issue and make recommendations for the Government. As part of the inquiry, we ran this thread to ask the TSR community about your experiences.
The stories you told really helped the Committee understand how the quality of teaching in universities has been affected by COVID-19 restrictions.
A big thank you to all those who responded!
Contributions from Malevolent, CoffeeAndPolitics, Catherine1973, TheWannabeFarmer and justme2001 were featured in the Committee’s report:
“Half my lecturers just stuck up last year’s recordings. The others made the effort to record from home their stuff or do it live and we could type questions they answered during the breaks […] we haven’t had loads of things marked […] without feedback, we go into exams blind as to what things we need to improve in essay techniques” – Catherine1973
“I don't find the creation of interactive powerpoints - which just slow note taking and half the time don't work to be a maintained standard. Nor is uploading last years, or a year further backs stream capture. I wasn't paying for a lecture delivered to another cohort two years ago. Or when a capture is uploaded as audio only and they start talking about things on screen but with no indication of where they are pointing. Not to mention as a clinical course our hands on practicals being cut crucially short this year. It isn't a case of will the medics, dentists and vets of this year come out as less trained individuals but a question of how much poorer will their practice be...” – @TheWannabeFarmer
[Quick summary: what students on TSR and elsewhere told the Committee].
The Committee’s recommendations:
In a Parliamentary debate last week, the Committee repeated their recommendations to the Government:
- Establish a new system so all students can easily seek a refund of all, or part, of their fees;
- Consider providing additional funding to universities to enable them to refund students where appropriate;
- Consider additional funding for students who want to extend their education after the outbreak.
The Government’s response:
The Government has accepted that students should be able to take action if they are unsatisfied with their university’s response to the pandemic. However, they have rejected the Committee’s recommendation for a new centralised system for students wishing to claim a refund.
The Department for Education stated that "The Government recognises that a number of students graduating in 2020 will face challenges gaining employment due to the adverse impact on the UK labour market and economy, during the COVID-19 recovery period. We have put unprecedented measures in place to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our economy as far as possible, by providing extensive support to protect businesses and jobs, through the furlough scheme, grants, loans and tax cuts, which has protected thousands of businesses and millions of people."
...The Government’s response:
The Government has accepted that students should be able to take action if they are unsatisfied with their university’s response to the pandemic. However, they have rejected the Committee’s recommendation for a new centralised system for students wishing to claim a refund...
Any students reading this frustrated with the outcome: if you can be bothered to sign a petition then you can write a short email to your MP too. And if their response isn't satisfactory then make an appointment with them to speak in person at a surgery. If they're drowning in unhappy constituents then they'll start to put an effort in to fix things.
Don't forget too that most students have 2 MPs they can pester - their MP for their term time address and their permanent address. Leverage that extra influence and make them change their minds.
(and then vote these corrupt inept ********s out at every opportunity)
And just like when a maximum cap on tuition fees was introduced and across the board all uni's regardless of league rank or resources charged it they are all stating their tuition provided is good enough. Well I can attest that it is not - this is shameful.