LONDON: Tens of thousands of students are filing lawsuits against British universities because of the COVID-19 pandemic and strikes that have disrupted their classes.
They have filed a class action lawsuit against at least eighteen schools, alleging that they were cheated out of the education they paid for and the use of university facilities.
On Thursday (Feb. 2), the High Court of the United Kingdom will decide whether or not to allow more than 3,000 students to file a class action lawsuit against University College London.
If successful, it could set a precedent requiring other institutions to compensate similarly affected students with thousands of pounds.
Students in the United Kingdom are asking for up to £5,000 (US$6,160) each, while students from other countries who paid higher tuition may receive much more.
DELIVERED VERSUS PROMISED
Physical classes were cancelled all over the country as a result of the pandemic, and students were forced to complete a large portion of their studies at home.
Students who were locked out of their campuses for extended periods of time found it difficult to socialise and use campus resources like libraries and computer labs.
The claimants, who were once required to attend classes in a computer lab instead of a physical classroom, now assert that the quality of their online education was subpar.
The degree is not equivalent to a physical one. According to Ms. Tia O’Donnell, who earned her BFA in Fine Art at London’s Central St. Martins, “you don’t have the same experience, you don’t have all of those amazing things that you wish and dreamed of when you imagined going to university.”
Ms. O’Donnell said, “I missed out on a lot of the practical and social interactions, and it was really detrimental to my mental health as well” when explaining why she protested at her graduation in order to get a refund of her tuition.