UCL has paid £70k in tuition fee refunds due to Covid in the last two years

22 per cent of students who applied for a refund were successful

UCL has paid a total of £68,748.33 in tuition refunds due to Covid over the last two academic years, The London Tab can reveal.

Out of the 179 requests made for refunds, 40 students were successful, with the largest single refund provided to a student by the university amounting to £5,000.

Earlier in the academic year of 2021, UCL President and Provost Dr Michael Spence suggested that it was “just not possible” to provide UCL students with tuition fee refunds due to the “very expensive” cost of online learning.

The London Tab obtained information from UCL on the number of refund requests it had received as a result of the covid pandemic, as well as the number of successful claims. While UCL insists it does not offer “blanket” Covid refunds, statistics provided by the university show 40 students were successful in their requests.

Lizzie, a recent graduate of UCL, told The London Tab: “I’m very happy for those who were successful in attaining a refund.

“However, the university’s lack of transparency around these and their unwillingness to acknowledge that they could have helped more of the literal tens of thousands of students financially disadvantaged by the pandemic is very saddening.”

Another UCL student, Pablo, added: “Once UCL made the decision to refund a select few students, the university should have put a system in place for others to similarly make claims and have their applications be evaluated.

“I feel like it’s not too late to reach out to current students as well as recent graduates and make amends. Students have had a difficult few years and deserve better support from their university.”

A spokesperson for UCL said: “In line with Government guidance, UCL does not offer blanket tuition fees refunds as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“All claims are assessed on an individual basis and any payments made to students as a result of a request are based on the specific circumstances of the individual.”

Related articles recommended by this writer:

UCL students demand referendum on online learning in call for more face-to-face teaching

• Exclusive: The UK’s unis have refunded just £800,000 in tuition fees because of Covid

There will be no restrictions on in-person uni teaching next term, says Gavin Williamson