23 November 2020 | UK NEWS
The Reform Party have announced a new policy proposal in line with the criticism of the Government’s handling of coronavirus.
The party, which has emerged from the former Brexit Party, is campaigning on refunding 30% of this year’s university students’ tuition fees. The Party claim that students have been locked up under “house arrest” by their universities and have not got their money’s worth.
Most universities have abandoned in-person lectures, while others have also instituted online tutorials. In addition, universities have been clamping down on the activities of students staying on campus, often including being locked in halls.
The party announced the “Stop the Student Rip-Off” campaign in an article in The Telegraph.
Reform UK’s chairman, Richard Tice, said: “It is a travesty that university authorities continue to ask students to pay £9,000 a year for a service they are not providing. Students did not sign up for a virtual education.
“They are paying for full-time courses to be conducted face-to-face using physical spaces. Thousands of them have also signed expensive, long-term rental agreements, fully expecting to be required to attend lectures, seminars and tutorials in person.”
Nigel Farage also said: “University students, especially first-year ones in Halls of Residence, have been completely ripped off and put under virtual house arrest. I feel very sorry for them and the least they can get is a 30 percent discount – they deserve it.”
In October, the Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, told MPs: “I have been very clear with universities, I expect the quality to be there and the standards to be there – it’s important to note that often online learning is more expensive than traditional learning if done correctly and if done innovatively.
“University students are consumers; they have consumer rights.
“If they feel that their quality of education isn’t there, that the quantity isn’t there, they can go through the process of first of all complaining to their university and, if that’s not successful, then go to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.”