During the summer of 2020, students across the UK anxiously prepared for their shot at the full university experience. But unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the experience they received was incredibly different to what they’d expected.
Thousands were forced to isolate, unable to even buy food for themselves, let alone properly access and make use of the university’s tools, teachers and technology. Yet despite this radical reduction of the student experience, families were told not to expect a fee reduction.
In addition, the number of confirmed university admissions continued to increase, despite the social restrictions and health risks. This leaves many questioning if these students were made aware of the impact of COVID-19 on the higher education system? And if not, were they mis-sold?
Throughout spring 2020, many universities continued their targeted ads, social media campaigns and television adverts encouraging students to enrol and enjoy their full list of services and facilities. Clearly, this was not a true representation of what the students would experience.
With face-to-face lectures cancelled, students were expected to attend seminars online without proper access to their tutors or facilities. There were no socials, societies, or opportunities to make life-long friendships and memories, which is, of course, a significant part of the experience for most students.
Unsurprisingly, a rise in anxiety and depression amongst students was reported, as they were left isolated in their rooms and away from home.
Worth the money?
Despite the reduction in services provided with universities still charging £9,250 per year — the government has shown no sign of reimbursing that fee. We believe that this constitutes an act of mis-selling.
The promise of the full university experience during a pandemic was not an accurate representation of what students would receive and had the students known the truth; they may have chosen to defer for a year or two.
We predict that a large number of disappointed and angry university students will be reaching out for legal help during 2022 in the hope of securing some form of reimbursement.