Let’s get our voice heard

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Dear Professor Anthony Forster Vice-Chancellor

We hope you are well and safe during this pandemic outbreak. These are truly difficult times for each and everyone of us.

We are starting this petition to raise attention on important issues that we, students of the University of Essex, are currently experiencing. These issues include the upcoming tuition fee instalment and the final exams’ timetabling.

The Coronavirus outbreak has caused substantial damage to our finances, lifestyles, and urged us to take unplanned decisions. Some of us (international students) have seen their currencies devalued by 20% to 30% against a strong Pound Sterling, which will eventually cost a lot more to pay the next and final tuition fee instalment. More importantly, we are unable to benefit from the University’s facilities such as the labs, the library, and the social life on campus. In addition, a number of students who relied on the University’s facilities such as the labs, have now been forced to buy a new laptop to work remotely from home and ultimately comply with the government’s guidelines. Last but not least, the strikes that have taken place during the autumn term as well as the spring term have utterly affected our learning experience. Shortly after that, we get surprised with a miniscule refund of £40.

Generally speaking, online education is much less costly than physical teaching as we tend to use our own resources instead of the University’s. Therefore, we demand a tuition fee reduction for the upcoming instalment by at least a half, which fairly represents the lost benefits and costs incurred during this crisis.

Turning to the exams’ timetabling issue, we would like to raise to your attention that the past few weeks have wreaked havoc on our study plans during Easter. Some of us have decided to leave the UK, others are quarantined and have limited access to internet while constrained by assignments’ deadlines. Consequently, we believe that the final exams’ timetable ignores all these challenges we should endure. The exams are planned during the last week of April, allowing no time for good preparation given all the constraints we have just raised. Henceforth, we would truly appreciate if you could reconsider the timetabling by allowing a little more time for study and preparation.

Sincerely,

University of Essex,Postgraduate students