Remote Learning Not Worth the Price, UK University Students Want Tuition Fees Refund

The majority of students at universities in the United Kingdom claim that their tuition fees should be reimbursed after COVID-19 has disrupted their studies, a survey by digital learning platform Quizlet has found.

According to the survey, 86 per cent of university students said they must receive “full or partial refund” on their tuition fees as they could not experience university this academic year due to pandemic, Erudera College News reports.

The pandemic has forced many universities to shift to online learning or practice in-person teaching only when necessary.

Among others, students stated that they had felt a negative impact on their education as well as that their mental health has been affected by the pandemic. 

Data show that 53 per cent of them claimed that combined learning has been “ineffective” or “very ineffective”.

Students across the UK who pay £9,250 per year said that they do not feel they have been receiving any value in education compared to the money they had to pay.

According to them, not only contact hours that are limited but also access to university resources such as study rooms or libraries have been severely reduced.

Through an online petition which has collected 221,971 signatures, students have urged the government to ask UK universities to reimburse their tuition fees, arguing that only online teaching has been implemented during this academic year.

UK Country Manager at Quizlet, Rahim Hirji, said that pandemic has been “rocking the education system to its core” and added that youngsters are feeling demoralized and sometimes lost as a consequence of this crisis.

Due to restrictions, isolation, lack of social interaction and being away from their homes, students worldwide reported having experienced mental health issues.

Quizlet points out that 77 per cent of students said that restrictions have negatively affected their mental health.

In addition to the United Kingdom, a report from the higher education regulator has revealed that a considerable percentage of university students in Australia do not prefer online learning and would not want to go back to it in the future again.

According to the Student Loans Company, the number of those who have abandoned university has decreased from 6,100 last autumn to 5,5000.

Yet, in recent months, Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has announced that a total of 76,940 people in the UK applied with an early application deadline (October 15, 2020) to start an undergraduate course.

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