It is evident that this year at university has been very different, and in many ways quite challenging. With that in mind, we want to assure you that we are here for you at the Students’ Union when it comes to the issues you are facing. We've launched We’re Here For You as a way to provide you updates on the key issues currently facing the student body. You can find information on five key areas listed below, including what we are doing, and what you, as a student, can do to help the situation. We'll, of course, provide you with as much support as we can along the way. If there are issues you would like to raise that aren’t listed here, or if you have any questions, please email President Kate Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
University life has changed dramatically over the last 11 months. An argument can be made that students deserve to receive refunds or compensation on their tuition fees this academic year, due to the fundamental difference in experience compared to what was expected. However, it is evident that the Government should foot the bill if refunds are going to be provided, not individual universities. Tuition fee compensation or refunds do make sense on the face of it. However, there are a huge array of nuances and complexities that feed into this debate. We want to give you an understanding of these complexities and provide you with actions you can take around tuition fees.
Read our letter
Read the response
Dr Ben Spencer also recently wrote to the Minister of State for Universities about the possibility of an independent mechanism to review the value provided by higher education courses during the pandemic. You can read the response here.
Of the many uncertainties that students are currently facing, one of the more immediate priorities is understandably around your accommodation and your rent. The University have been flexible with their halls accommodation, which you can find updates about below. However, we know that a large part of the student body lives in private housing or private halls in the local area. We have been visibly calling for flexibility here, as students being asked to pay rent for accommodation they are not using is just not fair. There is a lot of support available for you if you are struggling with rent payments.
It is no secret that this academic year has been incredibly difficult for many students due to a variety of different reasons relating to the global pandemic. Last academic year, a series of regulations and policies were implemented to ensure that students were not academically disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic. The premise of this remains the same this year with a series of safeguarding measures implemented by the University to prevent academic disadvantage, although they do not, in all cases, adopt the same form as 2019/20.
Understandably, wellbeing has been a significant issue during this difficult period. It is incredibly hard to keep up motivation and routines during these seemingly never-ending lockdowns, where we have little opportunity to socialise and engage with friends and family in the way we would like. University can be a challenging time for wellbeing and mental health, we are very aware that greater support for students is extremely important, and particularly so at the moment. We would very much encourage you to reach out for support when you need it, check on your friends, and keep discussing mental health to open up the conversation and reduce the stigma.
We know that your university experience has been turned upside down this year and we were involved in numerous discussions over the summer about the introduction of the flexible learning model that has been implemented this year, to include face-to-face teaching and online learning where dictated by Government restrictions. The University have put a lot of work into providing the best academic experience possible, but it is clear that you need to ensure that the academic quality you would expect from your course is being upheld.
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