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Universities Minister Backs Calls for Student Refunds

Posted by Richard Ward in , ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The government's universities minister Sam Gyimah has said students whose courses have been disrupted by the recent university strikes should receive compensation for lost classes.

Mr Gyimah suggested this could mean a refund on tuition fees or rearranging cancelled lectures.

In response, King's College London has decided to create a fund to compensate students, ring-fencing any savings from staff pay on strike days to offset the impact on students.

Furthermore, a spokeswoman for King's said they would be "considering cases for any further compensation that may be warranted in light of cancelled classes".

Speaking at the launch of the Office for Students, the universities minister said he was very serious about universities paying back students who had missed out on classes during the strike over pensions.

Meanwhile Universities UK didn't want to respond to calls for refunds but did suggest it was making every effort to work with students to minimise disruption to their academic experience.

My Gyimah, talking to university heads, said tougher accountability was now the new norm for higher education, with the Office for Students forming part of this greater scrutiny.

He added: "This is not a blip. We are once again experiencing the 'winds of change' in the university sector."

"Gone are the days when students venerated institutions and were thankful to be admitted. We are in a new age - the age of the student."