The University of York are potentially offering a ‘chunk of money to be wiped off student loans’

The University will also adopt a ‘safety-net’ approach to ‘help not hinder students’

University of York students will be potentially given the option to either have a larger chunk of money wiped off from their student loan at once or if any student wishes to retake the year they can do free of charge.

In a Facebook post YUSU’s Academic Officer, Giang Nguyen, announced that she had been in regular contact with the National Union of Students regarding tuition fees and is “fully backing” students on demanding a form of compensation.

Nguyen shared a screenshot of the email she received from the National Union of Students who said they were “currently focusing [their] efforts on accommodation, maintenance support and arrangments for exams and assessments in FE, Undergraduate and Postgraduate education.”

They understand that university fees are a “big issue for students” and are asking students’ unions to put forward the idea of a “large chunk of money to wipe off a student loan debt all at once” to students to see what they think about it.

Although the refund may not be the “most effective, as it’s money that would get wiped off a student loan balance, not money in students’ pockets” it “could show students that their experiences have been taken seriously and the disruption has been recognised.”

The offer only applies for students who have taken loans to pay for university fees and the union acknowledged it would be “difficult to work out for international students and those who have paid [fees] upfront.”

The Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning have also indicated that a University of York “safety-net” will be developed and will be “heavily informed by the University of Exeter’s model, but will be adapted to York’ to ensure it ‘will help not hinder students through this difficult time.”

Nguyen has encouraged students to comment on the Facebook post sharing their views or any other thoughts on tuition fees in the COVID-19 context.

University of York student, Iman Rasul, commented: “Money repaid back even if it’s just to reduce our loans and not into our pockets still makes a massive difference – I mean the goal would be to pay back less especially as we’ll have to pay with interest.”

Sarah Burnard added that: “Option 2 is essential, seeing as the uni has been encouraging students without equipment to take a leave of absence.”

Feature image credit: York Parties Facebook Page