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05th Jan 2021

Petition to reduce university fees reaches 200,000 signatures

Reuben Pinder

Students continue to pay £9,250 per year in lockdown

A petition to reduce university fees from £9,250 per year to £3,000 has reached over 200,000 signatures, double the target needed to force a debate in parliament.

Since the pandemic first hit the UK in the spring of 2020, university students have been forced to continue paying full price tuition fees despite receiving a fraction of the educational benefits they would see in normal times.

A nursing student in Belfast posted the petition on Twitter, saying: “Spent the whole first year of my nursing degree in lockdown and online, due to start second year in the next couple months and have seen the inside of my uni once in that time.”

The petition, entitled Reduce University student tuition fees from £9250 to £3000′, reads: “Call on the government to consider holding debates in Parliament between MPs and university students to raise/discuss issues that affect them.

“It will allow students to voice their opinions and concerns about tuition fees of £9250 a year which are too high, particularly as grants have been removed.

“Higher education is the key for our nation’s future, live Parliament debates involving MPs and students are crucial to give them the opportunity to raise the issues of concern in particular reducing University student fees & other matters impacting their lives including accommodation costs.

“The debates should include university students, post graduates, those from poorer backgrounds and disabilities also college students. Covid-19 has left the nation’s future economy/job market uncertain.”

Labour MP Richard Burgon has advocated scrapping fees and reimbursing the accommodation costs for students who have paid for halls of residence they are unable to live in.

On Tuesday afternoon, he tweeted: At his press conference, the PM was asked about university tuition fees – given people are learning online – and the costs of halls of residence that people can’t live in. The PM answered with waffle The answer should have been: we’ll scrap fees & reimburse accommodation costs.”