By Keziah Cracknell
Currently, the education system seems to be completely inept. We are all stationary.
Despite this, the education of our children and the future generation of employees is still trundling on, However much it feels like it’s falling apart at the seams.
Universities position themselves at the forefront of education, and the cost seems to match, with most charging in excess of £9,250 a year for a minimum of three years.
In a recent petition to the Government, students challenged this cost.
The online services are not meeting students’ expectations of what they feel £9,250 a year should provide them.
Consequently, the petition was signed by 341,829, which qualifies it for a debate.
The Coronavirus pandemic is the second event this year to affect students education, the first being the lecturers strike back in February and March.
Students also petitioned for receiving compensation for the strikes, which received over 100,000 signatures.
The strikes affected 74 Universities, including the University of Huddersfield, where they were striking because of unequal pay.
This is a valid reason to strike, yet this was another factor that has been detrimental to students learning.
The Government are considering debating whether the third semester should be refunded and if students should receive compensation for the strike.
I heard a quip the other day from a student; we are basically doing the Open University.
This may be true, yet the Open University costs £6,192 a year. No wonder students are unhappy with what they are paying.
The Government received both these petitions. However, it is primarily out of the Government’s hands because the Universities themselves hold most of the decisions, as well as, the Office for Students and Office of the Independent Adjudicator.
The Office for Students main role is to ensure the quality of learning and the Universities are in contact with them to follow their guidelines.
Yet, this does not mean students are receiving the same quality of learning as before lockdown.
The Government have responded to both petitions stating that they understand the students’ concern, but it will be 66 days until the debate date is decided.
By that time, most students will have finished the semester and any damage caused by the limited education will already have happened.
Cambridge University released a statement saying that all lectures will be online for the next academic year, they may change this, but currently, that is how they are proceeding.
Cambridge is one of the most respected Universities in the country.
Does this mean that others will follow? Will online learning become the norm for the foreseeable future?
If so, surely, university fees should reflect this.