Bristol news University student says 'I've paid £25K to sit in my room for seven months' MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Staff strikes and coronavirus have had a huge impact on his academic experience
Breaking News ! A student who quit his job overseas to study in Bristol feels his £25,000 tuition fees were "not worth the money". Azwan Ariff moved to the city from his native Malaysia last September, to embark on a year-long postgraduate course in marketing at the University of Bristol. Fees for international students are currently £25,700, but the 27-year-old felt it a worthy investment in his career. However, as his course comes to a close and he gets ready to hand in his dissertation, Azwan says he feels as though he has paid the money just to sit and study in his room. The coronavirus pandemic forced the university to shut down its campus, and students have been unable to have lectures or use communal facilities like libraries. Although plans were put in place for distance learning and independent study, the experience has undoubtedly been different for the 2019 cohort. Azwan, who is currently living in Clifton, told Bristol Live : "There's no justice for international students for what has happened. "There's no tuition fee refund, there's no support, there's nothing. "Out of 12 months of my postgraduate studies, I spent seven months in my room. "I feel like the experience that I get is not worth the money." The marketing student said he completely appreciates that the situation was out of the university's control, and that it had to follow government guidelines in closing facilities and scrapping face-to-face contact hours. Read More Related Articles Royal Mail bomb squad incident: Student in court as police reveal reason for explosion scare Read More Related Articles 'Iconic' first train station in Bristol designed by Brunel is bought by Network Rail However, he says he feels the tuition fees should be amended to reflect this. He explained: "It's a business. They are providing a service and we are customers. "Bristol is one of the top universities in the world and I decided to come to gain more experience, at a prestigious university where I can add value to myself. "Now the university has abandoned us and is starting to welcome new students, and we are left behind. "I'm not proud of being at Bristol in this current moment, not only because of the pandemic, but because they haven't treated us well." Azwan says other postgraduate overseas students in his position have expressed feeling the same sense of injustice. Even pre-pandemic, he said staff strikes in November and February had disrupted his learning and led to lecture cancellations.
. 'I understand the pandemic changes everything' He added: "I understand that this pandemic changes everything - with social distancing, I couldn't meet my supervisor in person. "I'm the kind of student who really appreciates going to the library and focusing. "Bristol public library is open but not the university library. I don't understand. "I could not borrow the books that are needed, I could not go to the library, I couldn't use the sports facilities. I paid for all of these facilities that I couldn't utilise."
Bristol University's Wills Memorial Library prior to the coronavirus closures
(Image: Azwan Ariff)
He is paying an additional £9,000 a year for his accommodation, which is not managed by the university, and says he has also been unable to secure any rent relief. This is despite his rent covering extra services such as cleaning, which have not been able to operate due to coronavirus. The University of Bristol has not yet responded to a request for comment.
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A notice on its website states that a booking system is being trailed at its Beacon House Study Centre from today (September 16), which will allow students to book seats there for studying. The notice continues: "In line with government advice and university guidance, we are planning a resumption of certain aspects of library services that were curtailed as part of the initial response to COVID-19." National petition Concerns like Azwan's are by no means unique to Bristol, and there have been similar complaints reported at other institutions across the country. UK students have also expressed dissatisfaction with their limited university experience, still paying a hefty sum - albeit comparatively less than those from overseas. A petition has been set up calling for universities to "reimburse all students of this year’s fees due to strikes and COVID-19."
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It has been signed by more than 351,000 people so far, and received a response from the government back in June. The response read: "HE (higher education) providers must deliver high quality courses. "If students are unhappy they should first complain to their provider and if their concerns are unresolved they can ask OIA (Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education) to consider their complaint."
Source = MetiNews.Com