Reduce fees for international students or provide a feasible option

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Khizer Ahmed
Khizer Ahmed signed this petition

 Covid-19 has affected international travel making it difficult for international students to commit to travelling back to UK in September. This is due to the restrictions posed by many countries on travelling and booking seats on safe (social-distance-following) flights which will run below full capacity making these flights further expensive than usual. Other than the direct problems relating to travel, there are pressures on our sponsors (ability to pay our tuition and living costs), chances of a second Covid-19 wave, possible further lockdown periods and being trapped away from home, among others.
International students pay a hefty fee not just for quality education but also for a memorable and enjoyable experience. Under current circumstances the university nor the government can promise us this experience. 
The dean's email states: "Subject to the University’s priorities – and in compliance with the Scottish Government Covid-19 Route Map - our planned approach is that the first 2-3 weeks of learning and teaching will be presented predominantly online... Following this initial stage, the expectation is that we will then transition to a blended learning mode of delivery, over a 3-5-week period... This may include a combination of face-to-face teaching, group working, project supervision and appropriate lab work, online sessions/workshops, tutorials and on-campus learning activities". The 2nd phase of this approach will be difficult for international students considering the pressures put on them by many factors (as mentioned before). A lot of international students are considering taking gap years or taking transfers in their countries in order to reduce the burden of travelling back to university and paying a heavy tuition fee.
A possible solution is lowering the tuition fee of existing and incoming international students to match the student experience. Additionally, the university should provide an option of online-only learning (upcoming academic year) for students that aren't willing to travel; along with a significantly lower tuition fee.