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University of Warwick among 90,000 students’ joint claim for COVID-19 disruption

Following the disruption of learning during Covid lockdowns and restrictions, approximately 90,000 university students are now taking legal action in a bid to get some of their tuition fees refunded.

The students involved allege that their universities failed to provide adequate educational resources and support during the pandemic. Due to the restrictions that were imposed, students were unable to access necessary facilities such as in-person libraries, labs, and other resources. For many students, online learning was not a suitable substitute for in-person teaching, given that the £9,250 tuition fees for undergraduate courses remained unchanged.

Ryan Dunleavy, a spokesperson for one of the legal teams, said: “People choose a university based upon its facilities and its tuition. So if they’d have wanted to be taught through an online course, there are plenty of distance learning courses out there.”

The approach taken by universities to restrict students to their accommodation also took a toll on the students’ wellbeing. The lack of social interaction led many students to feel that they have missed out on the facilities their course had to offer, comprising a very limited university experience overall.

The universities were delivering learning and education and were providing support, albeit in a different format

– Professor Steven West, President of Universities UK

The students’ point of view is that they have received significantly less valuable services than those for which they paid. However, the universities argue that they have done their best to support students, given the difficult choices they have faced.

Prof Steven West, President of Universities UK, said: “The universities were delivering learning and education and were providing support, albeit in a different format.”

Being a key representative body, Universities UK argues that universities were still faced with considerable costs, stressing that the only other viable option would have been to close universities completely.

Nonetheless, more and more students appear to be joining the claim in search of compensation.

The University of Warwick is notably one of eighteen universities that have been issued with correspondence that they may face action.


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