MPs to debate petitions relating to university tuition fees
12 November 2020
On Monday 16 November, MPs will debate petitions relating to university tuition fees.
The debate will be led by Petitions Committee member Chris Evans MP. MPs from all parties can take part, and a Minister from the Department for Education will respond on behalf of the Government.
This debate is being held in response to the following petitions which have received over 980,000 signatures between them:
- Require universities to reimburse students' tuition fees during strike action
- Reimburse all students of this year’s fees due to strikes and COVID-19
- Refund university students for 3rd Semester Tuition 2020
- Require universities to partially refund tuition fees for 20/21 due to Covid-19
- Lower university tuition fees for students until online teaching ends
The debate follows the publication of the Committee’s report on this issue in July, which called on the Government to take urgent action and review the support for universities and students in the face of the “greatest challenge they have faced for generations”.
The report followed an inquiry where thousands of students raised concerns that they had not received a reasonable standard of education due to Coronavirus. During the investigation, the Committee also heard evidence on how the outbreak has impacted in particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those on more hands-on courses where students need to use university facilities.
In its response to the report, the Government accepted that students should be able to take action if they are unsatisfied with their university’s response to the pandemic. However, the Government rejected the Committee’s recommendation for a new centralised system which enables all students to easily seek a full or partial refund of their tuition fees, or to repeat part of their course.
What are petitions debates?
Petitions debates are 'general' debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers.
Follow the Committee on Twitter for real-time updates on its work
Join in the discussion using hashtag #TuitionFeesDebate