Vice Chancellor rejects the call for mass tuition fee reductions

£160 million has gone into digital resources this year

The Vice Chancellor revealed tuition fees would not be reduced or refunded after £160 million has been dedicated to digital resources for students this year.

In the Student Experience Question Time on Wednesday, students called for a fee rebate.

The panel, which included the Vice Chancellor, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education and the President of the Guild, also addressed the effort that has gone into attempting to improve the student experience despite the circumstances.

Addressing the question of whether students at UoB would be offered tuition fee reductions or refunds, David Eastwood said “we don’t believe that we are in a position to offer a fee rebates” and “it has been a more expensive year than a normal year”.

He also revealed that he had taken “a rather large” pay reduction, due to the circumstances.

The decision to reject the call for refunds, is down to “the costs for different students vary[ing] enormously”, and the goal to “enable our students to meet the learning outcomes on their programs to qualify” has been achieved, the panel explained.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the panel added “the university has offered a high quality student experience” and “students are actually academically progressing very well”.

However, a few students on Brumfess reported that they had been able to receive refunds from their colleges, with one claiming they “successfully got £6000 in tuition fees refunded from the Uni”, through bank credit rather than student finance, and encouraged other students to push their colleges and departments into offering at least partial refunds.

£160 million extra was reportedly invested into digital resources this year, along with an extra £10,000 to the student support fund, which is accessible to students who are going through financial hardship.

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