Use Your Voice
With the changes in learning and teaching methods across universities in the U.K., many students feel that the level of engagement doesn't reflect their experience from online learning. This has led to concerns surrounding the need to reduce tuition fees by the Government to ensure universities are not taking a financial risk and being liable for their students' financial wellbeing. We want to help, but we need you to take the first step so we've listed down some options to inform you and help take the necessary actions to resolve your concerns:
Click the button below to find out how the University are spending your tuition fees.
If you’re unhappy with the fact that you’re having to pay the same level of tuition fees this year, we agree, but we understand why the University is unable to offer a direct reduction as tuition fees are the main source of income for the University of Westminster and a reduction in fees would put the university at financial risk. It is up to the UK government to fix this situation which is why we’re asking you to write a letter to your MP asking them to lobby the government to do just this. If you’re living in halls or private accommodation whilst at University, we’d encourage you to write to your home MP and the MP who represents you whilst you are living in your university accommodation as you are able to vote at either location if there was a general election. To send your MP a letter visit https://www.writetothem.com/, and we would recommend the following message as a template for your e-mail.
My name is X and I am a new/returning student at the University of Westminster studying X. The University and the Students’ Union have been working extremely hard over Summer to allow me to undertake my studies and take part in social activities, but I feel the experience that I am receiving is simply not at the same level that it would be if the institution was not having to deal with the outbreak of Covid-19.
(If you have personal examples of how your student experience is different to previous years please add them here to your e-mail to your MP.)
I personally feel that it is unfair that I am having to pay the same level of fees as students in previous years as the experience I am receiving is fundamentally different, however the University of Westminster and all universities in England are unable to reduce their tuition fee level without putting their financial security at risk. I am writing to you to ask if you think it’s fair that I am paying the same level of tuition fees as students have in previous years, and if not, I am asking for your support to provide me with a refund of my tuition fees this year with the payment coming directly from government so that the University of Westminster is not impacted by this decision.
Your Name Here
Please let us know what kind of responses you receive from your MP!
Following the live Q&A session, we have collected a substantial number of questions from students. We thank all of you that attended and provided such valuable feedback which we can use to improve your academic experience and find ways to better support you during these difficult times.
We will soon publish the questions and answers from the session on this page. We apologise for the delay as we don't want to rush into this and provide incorrect information that might affect your experience with us. Please make sure to check our social platfroms where we will update you on when the answers are ready to view. If you have any further queries, please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Later this year we’ll be writing to the Education Minister, Shadow Education Minister and the Office for Students to call for action to be taken over what students are having to go through this year. If you’d like to take part in this campaign please fill out the form below and we’ll contact you later in the year to get involved.
As a Students’ Union we represent students studying at our Central London campuses and at Harrow, as such we intend to present a petition to the MP’s who represent the areas where our students study (Nickie Aiken and Barry Gardiner) outlining our concerns about the fact that students at the University of Westminster will be paying full tuition fees despite the drastically different experience which they are receiving. We’d like as many students as possible to sign our petition asking the MP’s to commit to lobby the government to providing students with a refund on their fees paid without it impacting on the University of Westminster which relies on tuition fees as its main source of income.
“We the undersigned are students of the University of Westminster. We pay fees from £250 for short courses up to £14,400 per year for undergraduate international students.
The University and the Students’ Union have been working extremely hard over Summer to allow me to undertake my studies and take part in social activities, but I feel the experience that I am receiving is simply not at the same level that it would be if the institution was not having to deal with the outbreak of Covid-19.
We feel that it is unfair that we are having to pay the same level of fees as students in previous years as the experience we are receiving is fundamentally different, however the University of Westminster and all universities in England are unable to reduce their tuition fee level without putting their financial security at risk. We are asking for your support to provide us with a refund of our tuition fees this year with the payment coming directly from government so that the University of Westminster is not impacted by this decision.”
Before starting or returning to Westminster, you will have received guidance from the University about how your course and will be delivered this year along with other communications about how wider support services such as the library, counselling and careers service (to name a few) will be delivered. Upon enrolment or reenrolment this is considered an acceptance to the variations that have been put in place for this year.
But this is a two way process, once the university has committed to how it will deliver services to you then you have rights as a consumer to ensure that you get what you were promised. Part of what we do as a Students’ Union is help you to ensure that your rights are protected and enforced, so if you don’t think that things are right, we can help.
In the first instance you should raise the issue with your course representative. You can do this either by contacting them directly or by submitting a question to our Digital Reps tool below.
This system has been briefed across the university and is the quickest way to highlight change with course leaders. It also enables the Students’ Union to see if we have similar issues occurring across the University.
If you’re not satisfied with the response to your submission or you think it’s taking too long to get sorted, you can make use of the Students’ Union’s independent advice service to make a formal complaint which might result in the University offering compensation. Making a formal complaint won’t impact on your future at Westminster or on future marking from your course, but it sometimes is the way to ensure that a formal response is given from the University when you’re not happy with other responses. Any student can book an appointment with our advice service, all you need to do is fill out our booking form by clicking the link below.