The Speaker
Saturday, 18 May 2024 – 10:26

MPs to debate petitions relating to university tuition fees

MPs are to debate the topic of university tuition fees later, after multiple notably sized e-petitions have been created on the subject. 

Many university students have seen their education and university experience negatively impacted by strikes and the Coronavirus pandemic over the last year, causing some students to call for a reimbursement of tuition fees.

University tuition fees for domestic students in the UK are as high as £9,250 per year and this has not changed in light of students being taught largely online during the current pandemic.

A debate will be held in Westminister Hall from 18:00 this evening lasting 90 minutes, allowing MPs to question Government Ministers directly on the issues raised in five petitions about tuition fees. The peitions include;

  • ‘Require universities to reimburse students’ tuition fees during strike action’
  • ‘Reimburse all students of this year’s fees due to strikes and COVID-19’
  • ‘Refund university students for 3rd Semester Tuition 2020’ 
  • ‘Require universities to partially refund tuition fees for 20/21 due to Covid-19’
  • ‘Lower university tuition fees for students until online teaching ends’

The debate follows the publication of a report by the Petitions Committee on the issues in July, which called on the Government to take urgent action and review the support for universities and students in the face of the “greatest challenge they have faced for generations”.

In response to the report, the Government accepted that students should be able to take action if they are unsatisfied with their university’s response to the pandemic, however, the Government rejected recommendations which could have made it easier for students to seek a full or partial refund of their tuition fees.

There has also been no indication from the Government that tuition fees may be lowered.

The debate can be watched live on Parliament TV.

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