Was your university course affected by strikes or COVID‑19?

In recent years university students have endured cancelled teaching and exams, closed facilities and classes moved online.

Universities have not provided the services they agreed to provide.

Thousands of students are joining group legal actions to seek fair financial compensation. There is no cost to join a group claim, and you keep at least 70% of any compensation received.

We are building group claims at:
● Birmingham ● Bristol ● Cardiff ● City ● Coventry ● Imperial ● KCL ● Leeds ● Liverpool ● LSE ● Manchester ● Newcastle ● Nottingham ● Queen Mary ● Sheffield ● UCL ● University of the Arts ● Warwick

Comments from students

Tuition fees are calculated on the course being taught in a manner unaffected by something like a global pandemic. A course affected by such a drastic world event should have its fees reflect the circumstances. Tuition fees remaining the same clearly does not reflect these circumstances and so it is outrageous that any university should charge the same amount. Universities are supposed to be educational institutions where the needs of the students are put first, not run like mere businesses designed to make as much money as possible. A university as prestigious as UCL should be leading by example by refunding students tuition fees ASAP and urging the rest of the UK's universities to follow suit.

03-08-2021 | 05.53am

I had several lectures cancelled, and the content was never even provided to us separately, meaning I missed out on important topics that I paid to learn

03-08-2021 | 05.54am

Almost every year I have been at UCL has either been affected by strikes or COVID-19. I am a foreign student and pay fees that are nearly three times the cost of EU and UK students. It is a huge burden to bear simply to get an education and an even larger burden when that money is not used as it was intended. I could have saved tens of thousands of pounds by choosing to pursue my education in another country had I known there would be this much disruption.

03-08-2021 | 05.54am

I am joining the group claim because I feel I missed roughly a third of my course due to either strikes or covid.

03-08-2021 | 05.54am

A University that treats studies as a commercial activity and students as customers must offer reimbursement whenever it fails to provide the services for which it has been paid.

03-08-2021 | 05.55am

I am joining this group claim because I feel that, even though UCL has put serious effort into allowing students a smooth transition to college life, the external circumstances have brought about a reduction in the services it provides, compared to past years. It is therefore ridiculous that the university charges the same amount this year provided the reduction of services.

03-08-2021 | 05.55am

A very large proportion of my degree has been marred or cancelled due to the numerous strikes and the pandemic. I feel like I deserve some compensation.

03-08-2021 | 05.55am

As an international student uprooting myself from my life and job, this year did not provide the prestigious UCL experience I paid for.

03-08-2021 | 05.55am

Never been to university yet

03-08-2021 | 05.56am

I believe I am entitled to a reduction in course fees because all teaching for the current academic year is online.

03-08-2021 | 05.56am

I do not think online teaching is worth £9250. I have not been able to use the facilities UCL provides because I am studying remotely and don’t think it’s fair that I am still paying the full tuition fee.

03-08-2021 | 05.56am

I am joining the group claim because students should not have to pay full fees for a dramatically reduced service.

03-08-2021 | 05.56am

My graduate courses were affected by the strike during my year 2017-2018 and it greatly impacted my graduate education experience. All of my professors cancelled classes during the teachers strike except for one professor. Seeing as how I was an international student and paying high fees for my courses this was very disconcerting.

03-08-2021 | 05.56am

I am claiming compensation as a part time masters student at UCL as last year I experienced 2 series of strikes which affected my lectures, and I had term 2 and term 3 as online lectures which as affected my learning. I have also had to conduct my entire 2nd year of my masters as a virtual student. I have also had several administration problems within my department which have not been resolved effectively. I am aware the university is under pressure to provide restrictions, however, I do not feel as if I have been able to take use of the resources to which my university fees entail.

03-08-2021 | 05.57am

The entire year has been moved online and now the campus is closed for the indefinite future. As I am an overseas student, my tuition is incredibly high and I feel like the quality of the experience and education is reduced. I am thankful for my professors but they can only do so much. I believe the institution needs to compensate students in some way, they, sure enough, can afford to. Most students now have to finance extra services such as speedy broadband at home in order to make this work and now we cannot even use the campus facilities.

03-08-2021 | 05.57am

This academic year has been a mess - we have not received the teaching that we would have got face to face. Institutions like UCL would still be incredibly profitable if they reduced our fees. It is a small step that will help us to feel like the university cares about us.

03-08-2021 | 05.57am

My experience thus far on the MA Fine Art course has been almost completely online. Limited access to the studios and workshops have been a huge disruption to my ability to work and use the facilities that I am paying for. Whilst the disruption due to the pandemic is understandable and I appreciate the measures are put in place by ucl to protect us. I categorically just do not think the education I’m receiving can justify the incredibly high fees I am paying.

03-08-2021 | 05.57am

I am joining this because I come from South Africa. I was promised a wonderful university experience in London being able to walk the halls of so many historically important people who walked the halls of UCL before me. I have not been able to explore the campus. Even getting a booking for the library proved almost impossible due to the sheer number of students attempting to do the same. My classes aren't even live online, they are all prerecorded. I am paying absurd amounts of money to basically watch YouTube videos. It has been rather upsetting and my one year postgrad course has been completely ruined. I just hope I can get a graduation ceremony since I didn't get one from my undergrad. If I do not get a grad ceremony then it's even more reason for some sort of compensation.

03-08-2021 | 05.57am

I dont think it’s legal, fair or just to ask students to pay the same fees when the university is not delivering the same teaching to this extreme extent. Studio-based courses cannot be delivered online. Online art school is not art school.

03-08-2021 | 05.58am

It is unreasonable of UCL to expect me to pay the same fees if they are not providing the same service. Global pandemics and other national events should not come at the expense of the students.

03-08-2021 | 05.58am

My studies have mostly been affected by loss of access to physical facilities and resources, i.e. library, workshop, studio, lab, kiln, and tools. In order to continue my studies as usual, I had to purchase my own equipment, supplies, and tools. I even had to buy books which the library owns copies of because they were unable to provide them for me while writing my thesis.

03-08-2021 | 05.58am

As an International student I am already having to pay more than thrice of normal tuition fee. Despite this I haven't been able to attend even a single face to face class, or even come to university till now.

03-08-2021 | 05.58am

I am joining the group claim because student experience has been significantly affected. There are very few opportunities to network with students and companies. It does not make sense to pay such high fees for what is essentially an online course.

03-08-2021 | 05.58am

I am highly satisfied with the quality of the content offered by UCL. However I think the tuition fees are overpriced and unacceptable with the alterations due to strikes as well as the covid crisis. It is unthinkable to pay that price and have classes cancelled or restricted access to the library. I do not accuse the university itself and acknowledge that these are consequences of forces beyond its control, but the fees need to have a readjustment in this situation.

03-08-2021 | 05.59am

I am joining this claim because I believe we all deserve justice. As much as I appreciate UCL's effort to deliver us a world-class education with value to money, the outcome is not worth the money I am paying for. When I signed the agreement, the understanding was that 'blended learning' will take place but it is now term two and all our teaching has been online for the whole of term one and will continue being online for term two.

03-08-2021 | 05.59am

I am joining the group claim because I am a first year UCL student and I have still been unable to physically go to the university. My third term has been cancelled, hence, I will be finishing my first year 3 months in advance, however I am still paying a tuition fee of £9,250.

03-08-2021 | 06.00am

I'm supposed to be paying for the university experience right? Well, what kind of experience is it just locked in my bedroom? Half of my course are not even in London for Christ's sake. It's ridiculous. And youre still charging full tuition fees? Ridiculous.

03-08-2021 | 06.41am

i an joining this claim because all my modules during my postgraduate will be online, it is unsuitable to have the same tuition as face to face teaching. it is really a not good experience to have online class all the time.

01-06-2021 | 04.39am

I am joining the group claim because even though UCL has provided great online substitutes to continue my education, I believe the course fees as an international student are not commensurate with the services I have received due to lack of in person classes, lab sessions etc both for terms 1 and 2.

01-06-2021 | 12.51pm

I am joining the claim group because my course has been moved online for the whole year, which has badly affected my learning experience.

01-06-2021 | 08.06am

i am joining this claim because my course is only one year, and i do not feel UCL have done enough to mitigate the effects of covid on my whole time at the uni.

01-06-2021 | 10.31am

1. My lab project is affected 2. Recordings for some online lectures are missing and the quality of the ones from previous years aren't great, so I am not able to revise thoroughly for exams.

01-06-2021 | 10.25am

I am joining the group claim because I am paying over £14,000 to do a course conducted purely online through Zoom and without access to UCL facilities and buildings. This is grossly overpriced for the quality of services I am receiving and demand action be taken to financially compensate students.

01-06-2021 | 12.57pm

The teaching quality and the facilities provided in normal circumstances is not the same as how it is right now during covid. Students are missing out on a lot, academically and in terms of the university experience too. The type of university education I am receiving right now is not worth £9k in my opinion.

01-05-2021 | 09.07am

This academic year has been a mess - we have not received the teaching that we would have got face to face. Institutions like UCL would still be incredibly profitable if they reduced our fees. It is a small step that will help us to feel like the university cares about us.

01-05-2021 | 08.45am

UCL told students at the beginning of the academic year (end of august/beginning of september) that some classes would be delivered face to face. I thus paid 6 months up front for an appartment in London. Now classes are 100% online, and UK is lockdown.

01-05-2021 | 04.48am

All my teaching has been online and I have not received any help for my dyslexia nor any mental health assistance.

01-04-2021 | 10.25am

I am joining the group claim because, a reduction in fees should have been considered before the start of the academic year.

01-05-2021 | 07.54am

I am claiming compensation as a part time masters student at UCL as last year I experienced 2 series of strikes which affected my lectures, and I had term 2 and term 3 as online lectures which as affected my learning. I have also had to conduct my entire 2nd year of my masters as a virtual student. I have also had several administration problems within my department which have not been resolved effectively. I am aware the university is under pressure to provide restrictions, however, I do not feel as if I have been able to take use of the resources to which my university fees entail.

01-05-2021 | 12.54pm

I am joining the group claim because the experience and services I expected from UCL were not met. The teaching standard was lowered tremendously and I think the least UCL can do to compensate amidst the given situation is reimburse us.

01-04-2021 | 11.17am

We have not received promised fave to face teaching, as well as a plethora of issues with online learning. (lectures not uploaded, network issues, lecturers not available for live lectures)

01-04-2021 | 12.05pm

I’m a student at ucl and have been since 2017, I have both the maximum tuition loan and maintenance loan, and have done since I started, I have also gone through two strikes which lasted months meaning missing out on a lot of teaching (which I know is really important for academics and their rights but I think it’s ridiculous that UCL hasn’t provided any compensation to students) and then COVID-19 has also been crazy, not even travelling into uni, feeling a lot less connected to campus, we should be paying a lot less as we never use the facilities! It also messed up my year abroad. I just think it’s time UCL treated us like students and people instead of easy bank transactions.

01-04-2021 | 10.19am

I, like many others, struggle to pay my fees and have to make a lot of sacrifices so Athat I can afford it and therefore, believe that if I am not getting what I am paying for, then the money should be refunded.

01-04-2021 | 11.22am

I am paying three times the fee as an international student and I don't feel like I have access to all the resources I normally do due to COVID.

01-03-2021 | 11.48am

The teacher strikes came at the worst time for me. It threw my entire doctorate into turmoil. I was put into administration and did not receive the support I needed. The stress of it all drove me into a deep depression (docimented). As a result I lost my job and now don't have the money to finish my degree.

01-03-2021 | 06.41am

My graduate courses were affected by the strike during my year 2017-2018 and it greatly impacted my graduate education experience. All of my professors cancelled classes during the teachers strike except for one professor. Seeing as how I was an international student and paying high fees for my courses this was very disconcerting.

01-03-2021 | 10.59am

I am joining the group claim because students should not have to pay full fees for a dramatically reduced service.

01-03-2021 | 10.16am

I feel as though we have begun this journey in university with virtually no support and have been expected to keep up with usual academic standards even though the teaching standards most definitely do not meet that of prior years, given the pandemic. Our examinations have become harder, and with the majority of us in environments unsuitable for learning, I believe we have been put under unfair pressure. Apart from a few maths lectures, all of my teaching has been online since the beginning of the year. This has put us at a complete disadvantage.

01-03-2021 | 06.35am

I haven’t had a full year at university and i’m already in my second year, wether that be to strikes, or lesson cancellations due to covid. i am not able to access any resources and online lessons are not the same whatsoever

01-02-2021 | 10.16am

Promised much more than received due to online teaching is not the same as face to face. Due to missing out on other opportunities

01-02-2021 | 09.47am

My entire year is online - zero face to face, no labs, practicals, seminars etc.

01-02-2021 | 09.01am

In 2019-2020 year 3 got cancelled instead of moving it online

12-27-2020 | 11.32am

I cannot afford my rent on my part time furlough and I am unable to live on the premises due to COVID restrictions

12-22-2020 | 07.27am

whole year online courses

12-20-2020 | 06.47am

There is no way in gods green earth that we are receiving £14.3k worth of education. £14.3k could be a significant contribution to someone’s house deposit, it could be a significant chunk of someone’s savings (in my case). University education in the UK is already inflated at the £9k price point. The post graduate fees are ludicrous on even a normal year relative to our European counterparts. With the disruption that COVID has caused, you lose the primary benefit of university education: access to on campus resources and connections. For example, instead of hosting an entire day to host potential MSC projects as has usually been done in previous years, this was cancelled and not replaced, even with an online counterpart. Furthermore, a HUGE number of modules this year have opted to do near exclusively pre-recorded lectures. This massively limits the degree to which you can interact with professors and ask questions in real time with immediate feedback. Instead questions must be written down or remembered so that they can be asked in the once weekly live sessions. This means remembering a question and reiterating it’s context days after you first had it.

12-15-2020 | 07.35am

I also contacted the university stating that the GOV advised the HE to provide guidelines in relation to the student fees refunds but with no clear answer or advise or even a reason the refund couldn't be issued

12-10-2020 | 01.01am

Realistically I only had one full term of teaching and studying whilst the rest of the year was ridden with teacher strikes and the COVID 19 pandemic. The post grad tuition fees was really expensive and I feel for that money I didn’t get to experience and take advantage during this year due to unfortunate circumstances.

12-09-2020 | 11.14am

I believe I am entitled to a reduction in course fees because all teaching for the current academic year is online.

12-09-2020 | 02.52am

Due to everything online, I do feel the quality of teaching has been diminished for some modules in the course in a significant way

12-09-2020 | 02.44am

I am joining this group because I'm not even even provided zoom lectures. I've had minimal interaction with tutors and about 3 sentences of feedback.

12-07-2020 | 08.36am

I do not think online teaching is worth £9250. I have not been able to use the facilities UCL provides because I am studying remotely and don’t think it’s fair that I am still paying the full tuition fee.

12-08-2020 | 01.32am

Tuition normally includes non-course costs which are not available to everyone not based in London or affected by the London lockdown. Even then, it feels like half of class is often devoted to tech issues. Then there are the times, like just last week, where the UCL servers crash and we cannot even attend class or access the places where are the assignments/materials are stored. Charging full tuition is stealing, especially for international students who came under the impression that 2020 classes would be hybrid (they did not tell us until a couple weeks before term started, by which point most international students had already paid for visas, accommodation, and flights to London).

12-01-2020 | 08.31am

My course has been drastically affected by COVID.

12-01-2020 | 07.17am

This year has been a complete joke in terms of deadlines and content covered. The department is trying its best but compensation is only right for us students paying so much.

11-30-2020 | 09.31am

How are you expected to learn medicine when you can’t do any of the practical elements of the degree, even the clinical skills which do not involve working as a group - just an Annie doll is required which can be wiped down in between uses

11-29-2020 | 06.01am

The course has also moved online for term 2 and for most of term 3

11-25-2020 | 11.49am

The strikes and delays for providing education in a timely manner have disenfranchised my learning, impeded my ambitions, reduced the practical modules I wanted to do.

11-24-2020 | 03.20am

Term 1 and 2 affected by Covid, all classes moved online for the full year.

11-24-2020 | 11.33am

It’s unfair. I’ve been robbed by the university

11-22-2020 | 03.52am

Quality of teaching and the general learning experience is nowhere near upto what one would expect from UCL.

11-20-2020 | 03.37am

I am joining the claim because I think that I have been unfairly treated in paying £9,250 for what is actually an online university course where I have had close to zero real life contact with other students except those that I live with. This is appauling.

11-18-2020 | 02.24am

Never been to university yet

11-17-2020 | 07.39am

My course is significantly impact by the Covid-19 restrictions. Term 1, Term 2 and Term 3 will be delivered fully online. The interactions with lecturers and peers are almost inexistent and the quality of online teaching is not comparable to the quality of live lectures. In other words, we are paying normal tuition fees for an abnormal student experience. These financial challenges are even higher for international students who are subject to higher tuition fees.

11-16-2020 | 07.50am

I am joining the group claim because I do not believe UCL has provided everything it has promised for this programme. Students are not able to get clinical experience, even though a major factor of accepting the offer was because of the great clinical experience we were told we would be provided. Furthermore, tuition cost is too much for someone who is a UK citizen but not a resident yet.

11-16-2020 | 06.57am

I am joining the group claim because the course has not lived up to expectations and advertisement. Emails during the summer did a complete 180 as soon as the deferral deadline was up. We have not done any of the practical applications we were supposed to (brain bank, labs etc.) when UCL had all summer to prepare for modules needing face to face teaching. Recorded lectures are of low quality and I don’t understand why we can’t at least have live online lectures for all modules.

11-16-2020 | 06.49am

I am joining the group claim due to loss of teaching since March 2020 until the rest of my final year (until June 2021). I am also unable to use the university resources such as the library, which would be extremely useful as I am in my final year. The strikes in Year 1 and Year 2 also affected my learning as it meant that lectures were missed.

11-16-2020 | 01.19am

I am joining the group because all learning has moved online and we lack the access we are used to e.g. library resources etc. I am having to use home printers, WiFi etc. All learning since Covid is online and will be for the remainder of the academic year. I don’t think it’s fair that we are still charged the full amount when learning is not the same, especially in my third year which is weighted more and there’s no assistance in terms of grades etc. I was also affected by strikes in 1st and 2nd year. I am paying this much money for the UCL experience and quality, which is still valuable online but not the same thing that I agreed to pay 9k for so I feel it is only right we get something back

11-16-2020 | 01.19am

My time at UCL has been incredibly fragmented - 3/4 years have been affected by strikes or complete cancellations to non-existent 'online learning' due to the pandemic.

11-16-2020 | 12.52pm

I’m joining the claim because ucl have told me they are no obliged to refund us or support us students because of the issues. They have told me that because the claim wasn’t made within 2 weeks that it was invalid. Despite poor teaching efforts still continuing on. I’m disgusted by the way university have handled this situation and even told students they have deadline to apply for funding for loss of teaching when this is an issue of not providing a service we have paid for and the limitation period in court of law is FAR longer than 14 days.

11-15-2020 | 08.35am

I think the quality of the learning experience was severely affected by both the strikes, which meant I missed several lessons, and the pandemic, which meant I was not able to use the library and archival resources of the university and hugely impacted the quality of interactions with staff/tutors. I am extremely upset by the poor quality of the experience I had at UCL. I do not think it provided the experience or quality of teaching/learning that I was promised when signing up to the cause.

11-15-2020 | 05.25am

I am joining the group claim because I find it horrible how we were not compensated for missing out on so much valuable teaching. Many of my classes that were cancelled weren’t even rescheduled and taught online.

11-15-2020 | 05.23am

Lectures were basically cancelled during Covid. Little attempt to move them online.

11-15-2020 | 02.05am

This is not only about Term 1 being online. This is about UCL specifically not choosing to create a hybrid learning environment for its Post-Grad students while all other UK universities offer their students the option. UCL actively chooses to worsen the educational environment for its students instead of being flexible and accommodating all (some of us might want to be online others might want to be in-person. It is not for them to choose that for us -- we know what's best for us and are fully aware of the risks in this pandemic). This is completely unacceptable. The worst part is that they've prematurely announced that Term 2 and 3 are going to be online and they still have the audacity to charge full tuition? If I can't get an in-person education at UCL, I want my money back.

11-14-2020 | 01.37am

Not only term 1, but all three terms have been moved online, all lecture and tutorials.

11-13-2020 | 03.06am

My teaching and learning has been affected by strikes and covid-19. All learning has been online since March 2019 and will be until July 2020.

11-16-2020 | 01.19am

I'm a part time student doing the course over 2 years, total course fee is £10,440

11-15-2020 | 02.49am

Year 2 laboratory sessions have been cancelled.

11-14-2020 | 12.21pm

As an international student, I am heavily affected by full online course, closed university facilities and isolated environment.

11-13-2020 | 09.19am

Because the term 2&3 have been determined to be online course. I stay in London but no Face-to-face class. Wasted my rent money and airfare money.

11-12-2020 | 02.48am

I feel my learning experience has been impacted by COVID19 and the change to online learning. My online educational experience has been evidently inferior to previous years and this is impacting both my emotional and mental health. Despite paying standard tuition fees, I have not received the expected standard of teaching. Beginning university in these conditions means students do not have the normal social opportunities and are therefore lacking in the normal support systems making the lack of sufficient teaching all the more prevalent to students mental health.

11-12-2020 | 02.34am

I am joining the group claim because I feel that my teaching and learning experience has been greatly affected by Covid-19. It is obviously a very testing time for all those involved in the pandemic, however the teaching experience I am currently receiving is just not the same as it would have been before moving online, despite paying the full tuition fees. I have also felt a huge impact on my mental health, as the social opportunities that university life is so renowned for have been revoked, thus having a detrimental effect on my educational ability.

11-12-2020 | 02.35am

I lost at least 6 weeks of teaching due to strikes and many more due to covid

11-09-2020 | 03.24am

I am joining the group claim because the nature of my course is entirely dependent on group discussions on campus. The value of a philosophy degree lies in the opportunity for debate, and this is equally so for the french side of my course. By moving to online teaching I have struggled to engage in my studies, and feel dismayed by the replacement of two-hour lectures with 40 minute online podcasts which provide a much more rigid style of teaching, closing off the possibility of active engagement. Further to the significant effect covid-19 has had on teaching itself, I believe the effect of campus life is equally as disillusioning. Despite living just next to campus, an environment I once felt at home and safe, I now have no desire to come in to study in the library spaces, since the strict and often vitriolic treatment by staff to pupils teaches us that we are the problem, implying constantly that our age-group are the responsible party for the deaths during this pandemic. Given the respect I have always shown to government guidelines and the isolation that has resulted from this, I can say with certainty that the functioning of these past academic years has had an impact on my mental wellbeing. The refusal to change the fee structure given all these changes seems an unnecessary and harsh insult all things considered, and I believe strongly that failure to provide compensation to affected students indicates the low regard university authorities have for their students, to whom they are ultimately dependent.

11-09-2020 | 01.19am

I am joining this group because I feel that the measly compensation offered up by the university was not enough to cover the immense cost. Why should we be expected to pay the same amount for far less resources (library included) and teaching time? It does not seem fair and I think the goal of this group seems like exactly what needs to be done so that students at UCL can be compensated properly.

11-09-2020 | 01.09am

I believe it is irresponsible and downright greedy to expect students to pay the full course fees when all we are really paying for is the privilege of using a stable zoom connection. I appreciate the uni is doing all it can to make up for this deficit by providing some excellent resources and presentations, but they are marred by the fact that this only constitutes half of the uni experience. Networking and other key informal forms of connecting, for the sake of future research, jobs opportunities and even sharing ideas are all virtually rendered redundant. In the effort to 'save lives', we are losing the right to live our own - our futures have become forfeit. Online communications do not replace in-person, face to face interaction. They are a temporary stand-in. And therefore cannot qualify as the complete university experience.

11-05-2020 | 10.22am

It is so disappointing to see how my friends at other unis could take part in in person events. I'm sure it could have been possible to arrange some more at UCL.

11-04-2020 | 11.18am

It is a scandal and an outrage. What was promised is not being delivered. Something different is being offered and this is not what we paid for.

11-03-2020 | 10.52am

I missed out on 50% of my studies in my final year - on top of missed studies in my first year. This adds up to a lot of time paid for in further education when the teaching was not received. I want to claim compensation for this.

11-03-2020 | 02.29am

A very large proportion of my degree has been marred or cancelled due to the numerous strikes and the pandemic. I feel like I deserve some compensation.

11-04-2020 | 10.41am

Studio access to slade and access to facilities that’s are nessassary for my practise and thereby education at UCL are inaccessible, in 2020/2021 year and term 3 of 2019/2020.

11-03-2020 | 07.34am

I am irreconcilably estranged from both parents and so financially support myself through university

11-03-2020 | 03.34am

I'm not receiving the quality of education that I'm paying for.

11-03-2020 | 02.02am

I am joining the claim because I am so upset that my studies are not what I was told they would be and I believe students deserve compensation as we are not getting what we are paying for.

11-01-2020 | 06.01am

To say that we are currently at university is a paradox. There is zero campus life despite claims that the university would be offering a “rich” campus life - in fact students are deterred from coming onto campus by intimidating staff and by closing more work tables than necessary. An online education is not a real education; it is essentially self-learning. Universities have always stressed that students who do not come into university perform worse than those who do, now all of a sudden they conveniently claim that what is currently offered is just as good as a normal in person university education. I understand that the current circumstances mean that ucl has had to adapt. But in the process it has mislead, lied and shown a distinct lack of care towards its students. The fact that they only sent a universal email this week (26-31 October) informing us that the whole year will be online just a few days before the fees deadline quite frankly speaks for itself. They want our money and I’m not keen on giving to them.

10-31-2020 | 03.14am

Only have one class a week and it’s not enough

10-27-2020 | 09.21am

My lectures have all been moved online and i was expecting to be more hands on with my course and i can not access any facilities. It is physically and mentally hard working from home.

10-27-2020 | 09.21am

I am joining the group claim because we’re missing out on using a lot of facilities, for example we’re not in labs and a lot of societies are only doing online stuff at the moment

10-27-2020 | 09.20am

I feel I have not received £9,250 worth of education and have been forced to foot the bill of all ingredients required for my Chemistry ‘Practical”

10-27-2020 | 09.20am

I don’t believe I have been provided with the facilities that equate the 9 grand fees.

10-20-2020 | 12.08pm

I cannot access the resources and facilities to complete my work to the standard I need.

10-20-2020 | 12.21pm

I am joining this group claim because I feel that, even though UCL has put serious effort into allowing students a smooth transition to college life, the external circumstances have brought about a reduction in the services it provides, compared to past years. It is therefore ridiculous that the university charges the same amount this year provided the reduction of services.

10-14-2020 | 02.58am

I am joining the claim because my learning in all three terms was impacted due to industrial action and COVID-19 and UCL did not provide me sufficient support with my programme of study.

10-11-2020 | 06.52am

there are enormous study materials and papers need to be obtained offline, so those of us who are not in London cannot get them in real time, so the study has been delayed. In addition, some courses are recorded videos, which does not have good teaching effect and it is no efficiency for learning knowledge

10-08-2020 | 04.08am

I missed 6 weeks of teaching out of a total 20, and whilst I understand why the strikes took place, it’s not fair that my education had to suffer.

10-09-2020 | 10.33am

My tuittion fees are higher than those listed on the form, international students paid roughly 15,000 GBP.

10-08-2020 | 06.53am

A University that treats studies as a commercial activity and students as customers must offer reimbursement whenever it fails to provide the services for which it has been paid.

10-08-2020 | 09.53am

I am devastated that I will no longer be able to study at UCL and use the campus facilities due to the Covid 19 pandemic. This has completely hindered my ability to focus on my studies and I am afraid it will have a huge impact on the outcome of my course. I most certainly should not have to pay the normal tuition fees for the years of study affected.

10-08-2020 | 12.24pm

I am joining this group because I feel my education, and those around me, was compromised due to strikes and the ongoing pandemic. It is shameful that we have had to pay in full for half an education due to these events. Our learning was compromised, our banks accounts are paying and now our future is compromised too. It is a disgrace that we have to ask for this back, rather than it be automatically processed.

10-06-2020 | 11.37am

I feel as if my learning has been hampered due to the industrial action as well as Covid-19. I understand the university could not do much about the virus and have done quite well to compensate for it, but I feel like paying the full tuition fee is unwarranted and unfair on students.

10-06-2020 | 11.37am

I am joining the group claim because I lost out on so much teaching through out my degree yet paid the full amount. It is unjust that the university can pocket all of this money and do so little to compensate.

10-06-2020 | 11.37am

It is ridiculous that UCL is upholding these extortionate fees when we were not given the teaching we paid for and lost around 50% of total teaching over the two years.

10-06-2020 | 11.37am

One of the teaching was cancelled (it was for research students - cannot remember the course title) and I had to rearrange supervision due to the strike. I could not attend alternative teaching date (for another appointment) and rearrangement process was bit dull.

10-06-2020 | 11.37am

I am joining the group claim because I feel I missed roughly a third of my course due to either strikes or covid.

10-06-2020 | 11.37am

My teaching was severely disrupted throughout my degree. First with strikes that took up most of my first year and then more strikes in my final year. Followed by the subsequent closure of the university due to COVID-19 meaning my time in university during my final year was essentially a semester or even less!

10-06-2020 | 11.37am

Almost every year I have been at UCL has either been affected by strikes or COVID-19. I am a foreign student and pay fees that are nearly three times the cost of EU and UK students. It is a huge burden to bear simply to get an education and an even larger burden when that money is not used as it was intended. I could have saved tens of thousands of pounds by choosing to pursue my education in another country had I known there would be this much disruption.

10-06-2020 | 11.37am

I feel like the teaching strikes heavily impacted my grades I got a high 2:2 and I know my capabilities. I should have got a low 2:1 at least in account for the teaching I missed. Languages NEED to be taught in PERSON.

10-06-2020 | 09.59am

UCL has an obligation to provide teaching and access to certain resources and facilities in exchange for our tuition. Justice must be served.

10-06-2020 | 02.19am

I had several lectures cancelled, and the content was never even provided to us separately, meaning I missed out on important topics that I paid to learn

10-06-2020 | 02.19am

As an international student, my tuition fee far supersedes that of local/EU students. I am extremely unhappy with the quality of education and the attention that I am getting from my professors. The quality of education that I am receiving does not even come close to the amount of tuition that I am paying. It is only right that there is some reimbursement of the tuition fee. It is completely unfair for the university to continue charging the same fee

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I had no SE1 school placement then a 100% online SE2 placement. I was placed at a school the maths department has not used before and the mentor was treating me so badly that if affected my wellbeing, I was offered a new mentor but the school could then not find one and terminated the placement instead. UCL said they would find another placement but did not. I started SE2 without teaching experience, and the school was unprepared for this in the online environment. So far I have had less then 4 hours teaching experience since starting the course.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I had so much class affected by strike in first and second year, practically a third of my classes in first year did not take place due to strikes. And since my classes at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year were severely affected by covid-19 I really struggled to make the most of my academic years and focus to perform my best in final year. I feel we should be renumerated for these severe losses in the quality of our academic experience.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

Aside from teaching being affected, what has been overlooked is the impact on thesis writing. I was intended to do a lab-based thesis which had to be changed after labs closed. I have missed out on gaining key skills and on producing a science-based paper that would have been hugely beneficial to my academic career. Not to mention the reduction of networking opportunities so key to a postgraduate experience.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

The university has provided mediocre online services, at best. This is at no fault of individual lecturers or staff but rather a systemic failure of UCL. We, as students, have not had equal or even comparable access to facilities and resources to students of years gone by. Yet we are expected to pay the same fee. I am fortunate to be an English student with access to student finance, but even with this help I have had to take out a personal credit card to cover the remaining £2000 of fees.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

2020-2021 was certainly a compromised year. I haven't even used up a single resource at university college London from 16 March 2020-now 2021. This course should be definitely liable for compensation from student perspective. This I was only delivered 10-14 hours sum of recorded and live lessons per week and online coursework's and their markings. I was provided with only 2 software entitlements like most students. So, I truly believe that this year was hardly worth 3000£ but was compulsory element of course so I had to progress.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I am joining the group claim because as a student you cannot meet you classmates or teacher, and you cannot enjoy any of the university environment.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

Only when I almost graduated then I realised that I was so helpless during my semester 2 and semester 3. I should have my proper learning experience even it moved online but the university could have done better. I lost most of my opportunities and my study was not secured. The teaching quality had dropped to almost the bottom while there was almost no help or reaching out from the university. And I have paid £18180 which is a ridiculous amount and was stuck alone while some home students could stay with their families and friends. The university could have done more.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I understand the Covid complications I experienced in my first year of my MA (19-20) but I am appalled by this year (20-21). Not only have I received very little for the money, the price has also gone up! And I have seen it is meant to get even more expensive next year...wondering what we are paying for?

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I just want my money back. When there is no teaching they say we are paying for the building but when we cannot access the building and get sub-par teaching then what am I really paying for here?

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I am joining the group because KCL has handled this so horribly. I know covid calls for strict measures, but nearly every other university still had more access to libraries, in person classes etc.. such as UCL AND LSE. Additionally, during our year abroad, kings did not tell us to go home, they gave us no aid in terms of advice or financial compensation. The money I’ve wasted the last couple years is honestly heartbreaking.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

Between Strikes and Covid almost every single year I have been at UCL has been significantly affected in reducing the amount of teaching we are supposed to receive and continue to pay full tuition fees which is taking advantage and a service we are not getting

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

This year was also supposed to be full 10 month work placement. Because of covid I have had no work placement and no teaching from UCL, while still paying full price of an overseas student

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

it is unreasonable of UCL to expect me to pay the same fees if they are not providing the same service. Global pandemics and other national events should not come at the expense of the students.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

The quality of the purchased product is clearly inferior that what was advertised and hence the price should be reduced accordingly. Already prior existing university courses that are online only have a price tag that is sensibly inferior than a regular in campus course. Despite such clear evidences, it is expected than the customer, the students, have to solely bear with the unexpected situation created by the pandemic. This is totally unacceptable.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

City haven’t provided the service they promised and made not attempt to have students back on campus. Spoke to stage 1 lead who couldn’t care less about students concerns or lack of education provided.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I am joining the group claim because I think it is unfair of the university to try and claim that students have received the same quality of education under these adverse circumstances. The reality is that we have not and that we have also not been provided with the same educational opportunities and services that other students have experienced in previous years.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I got no real uni experience and remote studies were really stressful and not worth paying full tuition fee for.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

An awful year which has all been online yet not reduction in fees to account for this

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I am joining the group claim because I believe the costs of my education have not been anywhere near what they would have been if I was to attend the university in person. It is clear that the costs of maintaining an online platform are far lower than if my tuition was done in lecture halls and with access to study spaces.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I have yet to step foot into the university and it looks like this is still going to be the case.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I am joining the group claim because all my classes have been online and I have not received the right amount of education as students from previous years who have had class face-to-face. I was limited from using all facilities in the studios throughout at of the academic year, and was limited in using the library. Other years also have study trips and more academic help yet we are paying the same amount of tuition fees.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

They promised the course will be blended learning but there was no classes in campus and all the course were online

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

To put it simply. I'm struggling to finish my degree because I lost the mood of studying in the libraries and the atmosphere of the university with seeing the students face to face. The pressure that I've paid full tuition fees to a degree I cannot finish in a difficult mental position is making me crazy. Like a cat been stuck in a corner.

03-31-2021 | 06.16am

I did not go university more than 10 times this year so I do not understand what I am paying £9250 for.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I am joining this group claim because I believe my academic university experience has been hugely affected by COVID-19. UCL has attempted to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, however no level of online teaching warrants paying full price tuition fees.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I am really fed up of paying such great money for so little

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I have not had a single in-person lesson since the beginning of March 2019. In a many of my modules this year, lecturers re-used videos from last year instead of filming new material and they also have filmed 30-40 minute videos when a lecture would have been an hour. The quality of education offered is definitely inferior and there should be compensation for this.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I had to take a gap year because I could no longer afford studying at King's College

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I am an international student paying for an international school fee with no financial discount and paying for an essentially discounted non physical online class during the pandemic

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

Due do the fact that this immense amount of money is bizarre to stay the same as we are now online and using just online engines such as zoom and microsoft instead of the UCL facilities which we paid the money to be at campus. The tuition should have been at least halved as in a lot of universities such as in the Netherlands.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

Simply because it’s ridiculous that we are expected to pay full price for online university. Students have practically have had an open university experience thus the fees should be massively reduced!

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I have had a poor university experience. The effect of strikes and covid meant that I missed a large chunk of content in the first year of my undergraduate course. This content was then required for the second year of my course which increased the difficulty of my learning greatly, as I had to adjust to the increased volume of content as well as trying to comprehend year one lectures simultaneously. On top of this, with everything online, my mental health and productivity severely deteriorated yet the university showed little to understand the situation their students have been in.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

The year was significantly affected with no compensation or understanding from the staff. Expectations were the same if not higher, with no concern for some students circumstance. This meant students spending a lot more (the architecture course already costs quite a bit over the tuition fees in order to produce work) - Tutors would consistently say “be creative” as a means of ignoring individual circumstances and the well being of students.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

The strikes severely impacting my teaching as lectures and tutorials were cancelled. Covid 19 meant the school of medicine cancelled placements and replaced with virtual once a week teaching which was a joke and not at all a suitable replacement. And then my ibsc being the most disorganised course I've done in my life, the teaching completely negligent of my experience as a medical student and lacking the same depth of teaching that I would have otherwise had in person.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

Joining claim as course has not been worth 9250 since all teaching was moved online and the impact to our studies has been immense. We are behind where we should be and missed out on a lot of clinical exposure. This is vitally important in a course like medicine.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I am an international student so my tuition fee is £25k per year. I understand that my uni has made careful decisions to not disrupt the teaching but it really feels like I have been robbed this year due to the whole pandemic and not having a single lecture on campus.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

The university has continuously failed to address our concerns and intentionally delayed informing us about the moving of classes to online-only. Until this happened, we were told that a 'blended-learning' system would take place that only carried on for a month and by the time I reached London as well as finished quarantine - the lockdown had been initiated. Similarly, for the Spring session, we were told in mid-December that a certain modules would indeed be offered on-campus yet within a week later the government initiated lockdown. It could not have been possible that the university was not aware of impending lockdowns a week before. We have also not been provided all necessary pre and during course-work books - many of which were limited in numbers (4-6 for a session of 20 or so students) and only available in library which was closed during lockdowns. Also, the students were betrayed by the university that they had allocated all funds and couldnt do anything since international students were not eligible for public-resource to hard-ship funds, etc. Lastly, the universities including KCL, over enrolled students compared to previous years therefore, a compensation is deemed fair and necessary to us international students. Thanks.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

I had to cancel my year abroad but the support I received from my department was awful and meant I had the last pick of modules, I had to choose my dissertation title and supervisor in a week and I had no timetable for the first two weeks.

11-30--0001 | 12.00am

Basis of your claim

There is an agreement between every student and their university. The student agrees to pay tuition fees, and the university agrees to provide teaching, access to facilities and other services as set out in the course prospectus and promotional materials.

In 2018, 2019 and 2020 universities breached that agreement when classes were cancelled due to strike action. In 2020 and 2021 universities breached the agreement again by cancelling classes or moving them online due to COVID-19, and severely restricted access to libraries and other facilities.

Students can claim financial compensation for these breaches of agreement. The best way of them to achieve this is as a group, in a collective court claim.

Click here to join the group at your university.

Meet the Team

Trevor-Asserson
Trevor Asserson

Trevor has been recognised for many years as one of the UK’s leading litigation lawyers. Chambers and Legal 500 refer to him as a “brilliant litigator” having a “heavyweight reputation”; being “innovative” and “able to find creative solutions”, and “a leader in his field”. He has been shortlisted as Litigator of the Year and highly ranked in the international directories for almost two decades, most recently top tier for international litigation EMEA. Trevor was educated at Oxford University, where he received an open scholarship. He qualified as a UK solicitor in 1984 and holds Higher Rights of Audience. Prior to establishing Asserson, Trevor worked at Herbert Smith, Europe’s leading litigation firm, and subsequently as Global Head of International Litigation at Bird & Bird, one of Europe’s largest multi-national firms.

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Shimon Goldwater

Shimon specialises in dispute resolution work. He advises clients on commercial litigation and arbitration and public law claims, including judicial review and Human Rights Act claims. Shimon qualified as a solicitor in 2013 and holds Higher Rights of Audience. He has particular expertise in public law litigation in the energy and renewables sector, and it was as a result of his work, including a claim which successfully won £60m from the UK Government for a group of solar energy companies, that Asserson was shortlisted for “Law Firm of the Year” at the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2015. Shimon was shortlisted as Junior Lawyer of the Year 2018 in the Law Society’s Excellence Awards, and won the prize for Rising Star of the Year at the Modern Law Awards 2019.

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Francesca Caller

Francesca is a business development manager at Asserson responsible for client care on the  group claims. If you have a question about the claims, please email Francesca@studentgroupclaim.co.uk.

Rachel-Kass
Rachel Kass

Rachel is a trainee solicitor at Asserson who is assisting with the student group claim.

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Avital Asserson

Avital is a paralegal at Asserson specialising in dispute resolution work, and currently dedicated full-time to the student group claim.

FAQs

In our view, yes. There is typically a substantial difference between the price of a traditional university course and an equivalent online course. In our view, under English law, you are entitled to compensation to make up that difference for the period when your course moved online.
That is likely to depend on which course you are on, what fees your university charges for that course and how your university experience was affected by strikes and Covid-19. We should be able to provide estimates of potential individual compensation as your group claim progresses.
No. We will not ask you to pay anything out of your pocket at any stage. All costs will be met out of the compensation if your group wins its claim, with your contribution capped at 30% of the compensation.
If your group claim fails, you don't need to pay us anything, and there would be insurance in place to cover any costs awarded to your university. So win or lose, you pay nothing out of your own pocket, and there is no financial risk to you at any stage.
You can still seek compensation even if your tuition fees were paid by someone else, such as the Student Loans Company, a parent or a friend. If you are entitled to compensation, it will be paid to you, not to the Student Loans Company, since the claim is for compensation for breach of contract, not for a tuition fee refund.
Yes, in our view. Covid-19 and to some degree the strikes were not universities' fault, but the question is who should bear the risk of the damage it has caused to students: universities or students. In our opinion, universities are better able to bear that risk, for example by taking out insurance, and it is therefore fairer for universities to pay compensation than it is for students to be left paying for services which they do not receive.
We do not think so. The universities in respect of which we are building group claims are amongst the largest, most wealthy universities in the UK. In our view, these universities can afford to pay students compensation for the upheaval they have endured over the last few years.
Yes, the claims are open to all students at the relevant universities, whether from the UK, EU or outside the EU.
These group claims are ‘No Win, No Fee’ claims. There is nothing to pay up-front, and you can keep at least 70% of whatever compensation you receive, with up to 30% of the compensation used to cover legal costs.
There is no financial risk in joining a group claim, since we will not pursue a group claim unless we have insurance in place to cover all relevant financial risk. Also, each group claim will only proceed if a significant number of students join it, so we think there is almost no risk of any university mistreating any students participating in the claim. Obviously it would be totally improper for a university to treat any student differently just because they have joined a group claim; we think this is very unlikely to happen.
It will depend on when each claim gathers enough students to be brought, and after that on how quickly it is dealt with by the courts. If the claim succeeds and you are awarded compensation, your university would normally be ordered to add interest to the compensation for the period up to payment, so you should not lose out if there is a delay.
Students can seek compensation directly from their university via its formal complaints procedure. If the university does not grant compensation, students can complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). However:
  • From what we have seen and heard, universities do not generally pay students any compensation other than very limited sums.
  • The OIA says: "an assessment of the quality of what has been delivered is likely to involve academic judgment, which we can’t look at . . . This means that we can’t look at a complaint . . . that an online teaching session was just not as good as it would have been face to face". This is reflected in the OIA's decisions to date from students whose teaching moved online.
  • There are strict time limits and you would need to carry out all work dealing with your university and then the OIA by yourself, without the benefit of legal assistance. By joining the group claim you have the benefit of a legal team representing you and effectively no time limit (the limit is 6 years) within which to start your claim.
We are building group claims for students at:
  • Cardiff University
  • City, University of London
  • Coventry University
  • Imperial College London
  • King’s College London
  • London School of Economics
  • Newcastle University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • University College London
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of the Arts London
  • University of Warwick
If your university is not listed, but you think that a substantial proportion of the students at your university would join a group claim, please email us.

About the group claims

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These group claims are being co-ordinated by Asserson Law Offices, a firm of solicitors in England and Wales regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (number 549779). Asserson is a leading dispute resolution firm with a proven track record of getting excellent results for its clients. Its recent work includes winning £60 million from the UK Government for a group of solar energy companies.