By Josh Hurn
Durham Students’ Union has added their signature to a letter calling on the Prime Minister to reimburse university students for the academic year due to the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.
The letter, launched by Students United Against Fees, calls upon the government to recognise how damaging pandemic restrictions have been for students’ learning and prospects.
25 different Students’ Unions signed the letter, including Bristol, York, and Exeter. The campaign was established by the Students’ Union of LSE and has a website stating the goals of the group. Its key principles aim to “compensate students for unjust fees” and focuses on “all students at all stages of study”.
The letter mentions the “indefensible and unjustifiable” way in which students have been forced to pay tuition fees, despite barely any in-person teaching. It also criticises the lack of support Higher Education facilities have received in comparison to other sectors, calling it “negligible”.
The letter also criticises the lack of action taken by the government’s universities minister Michelle Donelan for failing to provide clear advice or solutions for students during the past year. In her most recent letter from April 2021, she outlined the government’s plans to restart all in-person teaching from May 17th at the earliest. A student hardship package of an extra £15 million was also announced.
There have been no announcements on any tuition fee reductions or wavers as of yet from anyone in the government.
The complaints system is also mentioned as motivation for the letter. The group state that they are “complaining to you as the Prime Minister” when addressing Boris Johnson.
The campaign now exists on multiple social media platforms including Twitter and Instagram.
Full information of the campaign can be found here : https://www.lsesu.com/suaf/
Image: Amana Moore