Shabana has written to the Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan MP, on behalf of students whose studies have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
A large number of university students have recently contacted Shabana to share their experiences of studying during the pandemic.
Many students have been limited to online lectures and seminars and some have had no face-to-face teaching time due to public health restrictions. Yet, despite a radical departure from traditional learning, students are still expected to produce the same amount of work, keep up attendance, complete assignments and take exams.
In her letter to the Universities Minister, Shabana has highlighted calls for a full and proper assessment of how the changed academic landscape has impacted students’ degrees, careers, and future access to the jobs market.
She has also passed on the messages of many who would like to see the Government work alongside universities and their students to review tuition fees.
You can read the letter in full below.
Letter to the Universities Minister
I am writing regarding tuition fees in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.
I have recently been contacted by a large number of university students in my constituency regarding the effect Covid-19 is having upon their studies. They inform me that from the start of the 2020 academic year, their studies have been limited to online lectures and seminars, and some students have had no face-to-face teaching time due to public health restrictions.
In addition, university students inform me that space to debate, practice critical thinking amongst peers, take part in hands-on practical learning, and make use of science labs and technology, has been seriously impeded by the pandemic. Despite a radical departure from traditional learning, students are still expected to produce the same amount of work, keep up attendance, complete assignments and take exams.
Those studying at degree level highlight that A-Level students and GCSE students have now been given direction on expectations for exams and their future studies. However, they believe those in Higher Education have been completely ignored by the Government.
They would like to see a full and proper assessment of how the altered academic setting has impacted their prospective degrees, future careers, and access to the jobs market. They would also like to see the Government work alongside universities and their students to review tuition fees for those whose education has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Please could you outline what steps the Government intends to take to address the concerns of my constituents.
I look forward to receiving your response.
Shabana Mahmood MP