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Tuition fees and accomodation fees and Covid-19

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i am the parent of a student in year 1 at Sheffield Hallam Uni. I pay for their rent and tuition fees.


Tuition fee: all classes were cancelled as of March (so about 6 weeks in the 2nd semester), and all students have been automatically passed. Therefore students are not getting any tuition at all apart from powerpoints/self-help. I already paid £9250 for the whole year.


Rent: My kid was in a student run accomodation; most students moved out in March (for those who could), yet I am still being made to pay the rent until May 19th. The university "graciously" cancelled the last 8 weeks of rent. But this still doesn't feel right.


Before I go and talk to the unions and try and find out what my rights are I am wondering if there are other students / parents who feel the same.


I'm aware that the pandemic is putting a strain on everyone and everything and I'm not trying to squeeze the uni for every penny they have, but taking our child back home whilst still paying full rent is putting a strain on us as well, not to mention that the tuition fees don't seem to be justified as students are not getting any support. Surely there's something more for us that they can do that merely 2 months of rent (considering we lost 5).

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Have you already paid the money? Are you paying direct debit?

If there is still money to pay then if I were you I would put a stop on it and see what they say.

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Has your child already got accommodation sorted for next academic year, and if so, is it with the university* or is it private?  The answer to this may determine how far you want to push not paying the university now?


Also, for next (and subsequent) academic year, what are the accommodation T&Cs in case covid persists for months or longer, or even comes back?


*Do universities provide accommodation these days or is it all private?  My point is you don't want to antagonise now the person who is your child's landlord next year.

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Just realised I've only dealt with the rent aspect.


Dunno about tuition fees.  I don't agree with tuition fees on principle and I'm not sure what you are actually paying for (apart from funding the university!).


If it's getting through the first year - then that's done.


If it's getting an education - I don't know.  Remember that "education" at a university is really meant to be self-directed.  Many universities/subjects have limited student/lecturer contact in a "normal" year...

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Have already paid everything up front sadly. 


Rent was being paid 3 months at the time by DD, in advance (they did give up on the final installment for 20th May-June-July). Going to houseshare next year so won't be paying the university anymore.


Tuition fee was paid by semester in advance on my CC, so I could in theory try a charge-back, but I won't as the last thing I want is to get my kid in trouble.


It just baffles me that I'm the only parent/student who sees anything wrong with not getting classes for 4 months and still being charged for it?!?

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Sorry (this may not be helpful...) but I'm curious about something that  I don't quite understand.


Is it usual for the student (or a parent) to pay tuition fees upfront?  It's over 40 years since I graduated (when you didn't have to pay tuition fees) and I'm not a parent, but I sort of thought that tuition fees were "paid" by the government, and a "debt" was created from that payment which was repaid by the student over a 20 -25 year period - and then only if earnings are above a certain level.


(I use the term "debt" quite loosely as it's only remotely like a real debt, and many students won't end up repaying all or even any of it.)


My understanding (which may be completely wrong) is that it almost always makes no financial sense for the parents to pay any tuition fees in advance.  I thought it was almost always most beneficial to go down the student loan route and not to "pay as you go"?  Is there a particular reason you've paid upfront?


Apologies if I've got that completely  wrong, but I'm opposed to the current system of tuition fees anyway and it's never really made sense to me how it works.  It's just a defective way of funding higher education and trying to make public expenditure look lower.

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Some students don't qualify for tuition fee loans e.g. Foreign students and also some parents pay the fees, as they don't want their Children incurring debts. 


I think you should make inquiries with relevant Government department that looks after University finance, as i thought there was a Coronavirus related package of measures including extra money to help Universities. Even from September 2020 when the courses start running again, the lectures may be via online video links where possible etc etc.

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I'm happy about foreign students.  But assuming the OP's child is a UK student I'd be strongly suggesting that they reconsider paying their child's tuition fees in advance for years two and three.  I can't believe it makes any financial sense not to go down the student loan route - it's not really even a proper "debt".  For the parent to be paying in advance seems wholly unnecessary and unjustified expenditure to me.


(The whole funding system for degrees/higher education is a farce and a disgrace.  It was dreamt up by Blair as a way of apparently reducing public expenditure and at the same time making students pay for the qualifications they earned as if only they benefited from them.  It's had the - I hope - unintended consequences of creating a proliferation of worthless degrees, allowing third and fourth rate HEIs to charge exactly the same fees as world leading institutions, and has no doubt deterred some students - and their parents - from working class backgrounds from going to university because they were culturally debt-adverse and were under the entirely mistaken impression that they were racking up "real" debt.  It's been an academic and educational disaster.  Sorry - rant over...)

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I lied - I'm back!


I know this is of no help to the OP but the provision of higher education really isn't a consumer transaction and shouldn't be treated as one.  Unfortunately, the introduction of students paying their own tuition fees has created the fallacy that it is a consumer transaction and that the laws relating to consumer transactions should apply.  This is bonkers and leads to all sorts of contrary outcomes.


Also a fourth unintended consequence to add to the three listed in my previous post:  as each HEI attempts to maximise its income from student fees it is encouraged to accept as students people who shouldn't be within a million miles of a university.


Apologies for the outrage but I think much higher education in this country has been ruined and it makes me really mad!

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it was ruined the day maggy thatcher forced all further education establishments to become private corporations.


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..


if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.



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