Northern Ireland news

NUS warns of tidal wave of refund requests from students

Survey results show that of those who were offered online learning, 20 per cent were unable to access their education

THOUSANDS of students are to complain to their universities and colleges about the inadequacy of their education in their final term.

They have all joined the National Union of Students' (NUS) `complaint chain' which is urging ministers to establish a solution.

Survey results show that of those who were offered online learning, 20 per cent were unable to access their education.

About one in three did not agree that the education they were receiving was of adequate quality.

NUS is calling for the government to introduce a safety net, including allowing current students to redo this term at no extra cost or have their tuition fees written off or reimbursed.

A report from the House of Commons Petitions Committee recommended the government offers refunds.

"Students have been let down continuously during this pandemic," said NUS President Larissa Kennedy.

"It is no surprise that they are willing to complain when many have been paying for accommodation they have not needed and are accumulating tuition fee debt for learning that has been severely disrupted.

"Now it is time for the government to do the right thing and write off the debt for these students. Otherwise, we will see a tidal wave of students requesting reimbursements from their universities - and we'd rather we all had the time to learn, and universities had the time to teach. We need a student safety net that can provide an equitable solution for students - but the government has to write off this debt, not put further pressure on our education sector."

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