NUS calls on students to share how coronavirus has impacted their education

The group are building a mass complaint action to get the government to reimburse or write-off student fees and debts, and let students redo courses at no extra cost

The National Union Of Students (NUS) is calling on students to share how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted their education to aid a mass complaint action.

The team behind the Student Safety Net campaign are asking those in higher action to “join the complaint chain” in the hopes the UK government will reimburse fees, write-off debts and allow students to redo parts of their courses.

“Thousands of students have shown us they do not feel they’ve had adequate education [during the pandemic],” the NUS site reads. “We have been urging the government to recognise this problem and provide a systemic solution.

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“We know that working together will bring a better result for students. This process will be strenuous – but students have been left with no choice. The power to positively resolve this situation and support the entire student body lies in the hands of the Westminster government.”

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson CREDIT: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The campaign demands that students are “compensated for the high levels of disruption” caused by the pandemic. It asks that the government implement a “student safety net” that will see them “intervene nationally to cover debt relief or compensation for those who have paid upfront, or the possibility to retake a portion of the year at no additional cost”.

Students are asked to fill in a form on the NUS website detailing how coronavirus has affected their studies. You can find the form here.

As the campaign page notes, the government could refuse to meet students’ needs. In the event of that happening, the NUS says they will “send you more information on how to raise your complaint internally and with the OIA (an independent body set up to review student complaints about higher education providers in England and Wales).”

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Earlier this month, it was reported that university students may have to stay in a “protective bubble” when they return to campuses in autumn to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

University leaders have suggested students could stay in the same small group, living and studying together to minimise contact with other people. Other safety measures floated include holding a virtual Fresher’s Week, controlling entry to student accommodation and holding online lectures.

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