Withholding the third tuition fee instalment due 2nd of May 2020

0 haben unterschrieben. Nächstes Ziel: 200.

Note: for UCL students only

Statement of purpose

We the undersigned declare to withhold paying the third tuition fee instalment due to being severely negatively impacted by the strikes and COVID-19, until appropriate compensation is ensured.

Why are we doing this?

This academic year saw six weeks of strike action in addition to the strikes in 2018. As a consequence, most students’ education has suffered significantly by simply not taking place. While we acknowledge other petitions that demand compensation, we fear that university management will be able to brush these off. 

The Learning Opportunities fund that was available in Term 1 2019/20 offered up to 250 pounds, while the Term 2 fund offers up to 500 pounds. While we appreciate this gesture, these funds are an inappropriate mitigation for all of us who have been disadvantaged by both strikes and COVID-19. Furthermore, it is simply unacceptable that the fund is not equally available to all students affected, but is distributed on a case-by-case basis. We do not understand why we should let the university decide who is eligible for a refund and how much, if anything at all, each applicant receives. 

Thus, we shall withhold our payment, rather than wait for the university to give us our money back. Continuing to pay would fund an unsustainable university system. We do not want to tolerate a university management that deems it acceptable to demand money for education that has not been delivered, in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic not delivered on campus, and simultaneously underpay their staff.

By withholding the third instalment, we firstly aspire to refuse to pay for a service – our education – that we have not fully received. We do so until we are assured that the university has properly evaluated the damage done to our education. Government is calling upon universities for “appropriate action and consider their obligations under consumer law and student’s consumer rights” (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300528). The current Learning Opportunities fund falls short. Secondly, we make a statement against the current unsustainable university system that puts profits over quality education.

We would like to open a discourse about this situation between students, UCU and the university in order to reach an acceptable solution. But if our concerns are not heard and met with adequate compensation, we will take them to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) who have already set a precedent of successfully pressuring universities into compensating students due to industrial action.

Please join us by signing with your name, student email and add the UPI number from your student card to your last name (UPI is required for the Student Union to verify the signatures are from UCL students). 


P.S. If you are worried about academic sanctions for not paying, don't. We are disputing the fees and we believe UCL can't impose academic sanctions on us, evident below in our 27/04 e-mail from UCL, titled UCL fees Reminder Instalment 2019/2020.

"Late Payments: it is a condition of enrolment that fees are paid on time. Students are expected to pay by the deadlines on their Portico accounts and not become debtors. Continued late/non-payment of any overdue undisputed fees could result in academic sanctions."