We asked young Tories what they think of the government’s handling of unis this year
‘The student rent situation was undeniably unfair’
It’s no secret that this has been an absolute shit storm of a year for uni students. All teaching was shifted online leaving many students feeling like they’re paying over the odds for a sub-standard education. On top of this, the government banned students from returning to their often-expensive accommodation, offering them very little by way of compensation.
It’s unsurprising therefore, that most students feel completely let down by a government who seems to prioritise squabbles about football over higher education and the welfare of young people.
But what do the students who voted for the Conservatives at the last election think about how their party has handled the issues playing out on campus during the pandemic? The Tab caught up with a few to find out more.
One Newcastle medical student, who requested to remain anonymous, said: “I think they handled it as well as could be expected. It was an unprecedented situation with no rule book,” he said. “The student rent situation was undeniably unfair, but there was no fair solution, and students were still getting their student loan so, whilst not fair, no one should have been out of pocket.”
Every other young Tory The Tab spoke to was far more critical of the government’s handling of universities this year.
Calum is a Sussex student who voted for the Conservatives at the last election. He believes that the government’s handling of universities this year has been “the biggest flaw in the response to Covid-19.”
He adds: “Universities and governments should’ve worked better together to offer a fair teaching for the amount of money that we are paying to go to university.
“They have completely ignored that a large chunk of the fee paid is for access to facilities which has not been at a sufficient level particularly those in their final year of study needing access to some texts that just don’t exist.”
Oxford student William is also frustrated with the ruling party he voted for. “I’m deeply disappointed by how the government has handled universities this year,” He told the Tab. “So often, students have been the last to hear about changes in arrangements. We have been forgotten at press conferences, with little information released whilst schools were put front and centre.
“With two and a half million students in UK universities and a government apparently committed to delivering for all parts of the country, it appears to most students that we are the real left behind in this pandemic.”
A recent Bristol graduate and regular Tory voter adds: “The fact that students are paying full-rent for properties they’re not in, and full tuition fees for what is essentially a distance-learning course, is wrong. Students are paying for a service that is fundamentally different from the one they purchased.”