Tory MPs say all students who got locked down should get an automatic refund

MPs have also slammed how hard it is to actually get a refund

A Tory MP has said all students who got locked down should get an automatic fee refund.

Esther McVey, a former minister, was speaking last night in a Commons debate over fee refunds, as MPs considered the mass petitions signed by students.

“I am not for one moment suggesting that there have not been some institutions, or some faculties within them, that may not have given students the learning they deserve,” said Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, admitting some students might have a case for refunds. However, she rejected calls for “blanket refunds” over Covid.

Instead, Donelan emphasised how students could pursue complaints through their uni – a route which offers “opportunities to [settle complaints] that do not include refunds.”

This was preceded by complaints over how hard the process for students to get refunds is, which involves first making a complaint to their uni, then to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

“Many have argued that the current processes set up to deal with complaints are inadequate for the volume of complaints expected as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Chris Evans, the Labour MP for Islwyn.

McVey also compared student conditions to prisons, asking: “How were young students allowed to go back to university when universities did not have the capability to look after their students? Some of them have literally been locked up in student accommodation.”

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