Cardiff Uni students are taking legal action against the uni regarding Covid and strikes

Students could potentially be in line to receive compensation of up to £5,000

Cardiff University students have joined thousands throughout the UK in taking legal action against their respective universities regarding Covid-19 and staff strikes.

Students across the UK have claimed that universities broke their contracts to provide a certain set of services in return for tuition feeds and have launched a multi-million-pound group legal action against their respective universities, with Cardiff University included in this complaint. More than 20,000 students from England and Wales have joined the Student Group Claim and this number continues to increase.

Lawyers from firms Asserson and Harcus Parker have stated that: “During the Covid-19 pandemic and strike action by university staff (from 2018 onwards), universities across the UK breached their contracts with students, failing to provide them with in-person tuition by cancelling classes or moving them on-line and denying or severely restricting physical access to campus facilities like libraries, study spaces and labs.” 

A Letter of Claim was sent to Cardiff University on 19th October 2022, and the High Court will decide on 2nd February next year whether to issue a Group Litigation Order against University College London, with its outcome determining whether similar orders are likely to be made for the other student groups in litigation with their own universities, including Cardiff University. Other universities also in receipt of Letters of Claim are Bristol, Birmingham, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Domestic students in UK institutions are in line to potentially receive compensation of around £5,000 each if the claim is successful. International students may be eligible for even higher amounts. 

A former student at Cardiff University who has joined the claim explained that she felt that in regards to university life, students had only received “a fraction of the experience we should have” and went on to state that the university had ignored requests for partial tuition fee reimbursement and that it had done “little to show real care for student experience”. 

A current student said: “I think it’s very viable for people to be suing. A year ago I was indifferent because I had a good first year but after seeing all the opportunities that freshers have as a result of fewer Covid restrictions, I think it’s ridiculous that we paid £9,000 two years ago to be denied almost all of the activities that are available this year.” 

Cardiff University’s previous response to the pandemic, a ‘COVID-19 Disruption Complaints’ process was established in early 2021 to allow students to raise complaints about any “detriment, dissatisfaction, or disadvantage suffered as a result of disruption related to the pandemic.” Complaints could include concerns ranging from the delivery of the curriculum and teaching and the student support services available. 

To find out more, go to the Student Group Claim website.

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