In a statement earlier today, the National Union of Students (NUS) launched a mass complaint action for students in programmes affected by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The complaint chain comes after numerous campaigns by the NUS to spark university and government support for students whose courses have been disrupted in recent months. Alongside the sign-up form, the union has included a list of potential grievances which could potentially make students eligible for compensation. These include the interruption of vocational placement, lack of access to labs or their equivalent, or a lack of “reasonable adjustments” in the wake of the public health crisis.
Today we're launching a mass complaint action for all students affected by #COVID19. If your education has been impacted, we want to hear from you! We believe you should be entitled to REDO, REIMBURSE or WRITE-OFF #StudentSafetyNet📣@ZamzamMCR explains > https://t.co/cJuEjIVLmF
— NUS UK (@nusuk) June 24, 2020
The NUS believes the UK government must “intervene nationally to cover debt relief or compensation”, as well as give students debt relief and the opportunity to retake portions of the affected year at no additional cost.
”The Universities Minister in Westminster has said to us that students who have not received ‘adequate education’ because of the pandemic could have a case for debt relief or compensation.”
The NUS specifically addresses medical students on the sign-up form, stating that “We think it’s a scandal that students who have completed their courses early or gone on placement to work in the NHS have still had to pay their fees. Your education is controlled by a different bit of the government, so we have to campaign separately – but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear from you!”
In an accompanying video, an NUS representative said that this action “comes after weeks and weeks of campaigning, and questions falling on deaf ears. We’ve spoken to the government numerous times, we’ve spoken to university sector bodies, we’ve spoken to universities themselves, and every single time, we were met with ‘students are receiving quality education’. Well, thousands and thousands of students across the country don’t agree with that.”