Students call for clearer guidance on compensations
Student communities call for clearer guidance and extra funding to cover compensation. The UK government should provide more information for students about the study fees. For example when university students could get a refund or repeat part of their course in light of the coronavirus. It should consider providing additional funding to institutions to enable them to make such reimbursements.
The House of CPC says that a “significant number of students” had told that they are not receiving the education that they had expected. Furthermore, studies do not offer true value for money in light of the amount they are paying in tuition fees. The committee says that many students have experienced difficulties accessing the online available content, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
However, the MPs acknowledge that staff has made huge efforts to continue to deliver university courses in uniquely challenging circumstances. Also some students have continued to receive an excellent education”. The report says that there should not be a universal refund or reimbursement of tuition fees to all university students.”
However, the MPs say, it is “not acceptable”, given the scale of the disruption caused by Covid-19, to expect students to rely on university complaints procedures, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education – or the courts – to provide redress.
The government should “produce guidance on the circumstances in which university students are likely to seek a refund or to repeat part of their course. Also, they could establish a new system that enables all students to easily seek a full or partial refund of their tuition fees or to repeat part of their course, based on an independent assessment of the quality of education they have received over the academic year”. The report says ” because of the impact of coronavirus on the higher education sector, the government should provide additional funding to universities to enable them to pay any refunds to university students”.
The government could also consider alternative means for compensations like reducing student loans. It was collected 600,000 signatures for tuition fee refunds. 78 percent of respondents in a survey claimed to be either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the quality of education that they had received.
Any student whose university experience fall must receive compensation. The government must ensure it. “The coronavirus pandemic and its effect on UK universities represent the greatest challenge for generations”.“If the government fails to offer a comprehensive support package for universities and students, then we face letting down an entire generation. It critically damages a sector that will play a crucial role in our country’s post-COVID economic recovery.” Larissa Kennedy, president of the National Union of Students, said that it was “critical” that ministers acted on the suggestions, and that they must also go further and provide universal compensation.