Please send this to the Minister for Higher Education, Rt Hon Robert Halfon
and copy to:
And your MP (Find your MP’s email address)
Dear Mr Halfon,
This year’s university finalists are approaching the end of their courses with no clarity on whether they will receive a degree classification – or indeed whether their work, including dissertations, will even be marked.
Many of these students belong to the cohort whose A-levels were cancelled, and who spent most of their first years at university learning remotely in their rooms, often suffering under much stricter restrictions than the rest of society. For this privilege, they have paid a minimum of £27, 750, in addition to managing spiralling living costs.
Universities have given students minimal information, except to say that their degree class will not be affected by the current circumstances. This is a meaningless promise for those students who hold job offers that require a degree class or those that are applying for higher degrees. What message does it send that the dissertation you have worked on for a year will not even count towards your degree? It is simply not acceptable. Our young people need to be treated better, and universities must be held accountable for their failure to deliver on their obligations.
As chair of the Education Select Committee, you were a stalwart champion for our children and young people. As Minister for Higher Education, you have an opportunity to make sure that these young people are not disadvantaged and that universities, who have happily taken tuition fees, deliver on their contractual commitment to provide the degree that students have not only paid for, but worked hard for in challenging circumstances.
We call on you to demand that universities find an immediate solution to this crisis, and that the Office for Students, Competitions and Markets Authority and the Office for the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education work together to ensure that students are reimbursed for the disruption this has caused.