Students’ calls for refunds on accommodation and tuition fees amid pandemic-driven disruption are expected to swiftly grow into a huge issue for English universities and the government, with some vice-chancellors urging ministers to compensate institutions for rent waivers.

The Competition and Markets Authority had previously expressed a view that suppliers are not permitted to deliver “something completely different” to what was originally promised in a contract even in changed circumstances beyond their control, but that “applying that principle to universities” and the difference between online and face-to-face teaching “is really not easy”.

There does seem to be a growing clamour for a centralised solution to this in the form of government fee loan remission and rent subsidies, which might end up being a far more equitable solution than relying on individual consumer rights.

Noticia en Times Higher Education

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