Students have lambasted British universities for offering them “meagre” compensation for lost hours of teaching, including £50 Amazon gift cards at the University of Kent or £100 book shop vouchers at the University of Sheffield.
More than 340,000 people signed a petition demanding reimbursement for students’ annual £9,250 tuition fee, spent on courses that have been hindered by staff walk-outs and lockdown measures. However, many universities have offered no restitution – something that the UK’s higher education ombudsman, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, has stated is “not reasonable.”
Taking matters into their own hands
A small number of students, unsatisfied by the compensation offered by their institutions, have opted to take the fight beyond their institutions. Some have applied for larger sums through the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, while one student at the University of Sheffield has sued the university for £2,000.
In May, the UK government confirmed that English students will pay full tuition fees even if they are taught online for the 2020/21 academic year – a move that has been widely criticised by students.