Written by Emily Herbert
The University of Leicester announced that students that are in unoccupied University man-aged halls of residence would receive accommodation fee refunds of 50%.
Ceara Mitchell, a first-year chemistry student who started the campaign, reacted to the success of her petition by stating:
“The petition now has over 500 signatures, many of which are from students and their fami-lies. I never expected for it to be so successful; I’ve received so much support.”
Universities across the country are under pressure to provide students with sufficient dis-counts on accommodation.
The University of Liverpool and the University of Nottingham have extended their accom-modation fee rebate. It is available to any students who are not currently residing in Halls and they will receive 100% of the accommodation fee for the period claimed.
Ceara believes that: “It is completely unfair that students are losing hundreds, if not thou-sands of pounds for unused rooms. We will continue to fight for the full rebate until we get the outcome we deserve.”
A local Leicester MP, Claudia Webbe shared the petition on Twitter, stating:
“University students are being treated unfairly. They need our support, help and love. They are being charged rents for accommodation they cannot access and £9000 plus in Tuition Fees without the usual Uni experience or benefits.
“Refund Student Rents, End University Tuition Fees and Cancel Student Debts for good. End the Marketisation of Education.”
Many students have voiced their dissatisfaction with the rebate announcement.
A first-year student, Caitlin Warren stated: “It’s absolutely shocking that it’s only 50%. Pay-ing over a grand when I’ve been at home since December. Paying for what?”
Peter Bradford, another signature of the petition stated: “If you have been told not to use the accommodation then you shouldn’t be charged for it.”
Louise Leslie, leader of the UoL Rent Strike Group, stated: “Students need to show how unhappy they are, they need to email the accommodation office […] They need to make those snide comments on Instagram or Twitter.”
She added: “We’re not going to let them shaft us.”
The University of Leicester has not responded to the petition.
Emily Herbert is a first-year student of Journalism at the University of Leicester, with further aspirations of pursuing a career in TV. You can find her on Instagram @emilykateherbert
Image taken by LSM member Ollie Monk