As COVID-19 has closed down the country, students and their Universities and Colleges have been left to fend for themselves. Students, unable to get jobs, haven't had ways to access furlough. Universities have been forced to shut and yet expected to bear the brunt of this without financial support packages from the Government. When students ask the Government for help, they point at Universities and tell them to sort this out.
If the Government won’t step in and provide the same type of support to UCB that they have given other industries, then our education will suffer long term. The Government decides what level of fees to charge, they decide what level of grants to give students. They told Universities they must open – and then they told them they must close face to face teaching.
It's not good enough, and it’s not fair.
But there is hope. UCB’s promise to students is that they will get practical theory and placement opportunities to allow you to globally succeed – and we believe the Government should step up and give UCB the money and time to be able to do that.
That’s why we are telling the Government they must provide additional funding to enable all students – even those due to graduate this year – with extra tuition and support once society is able to reopen, to gain that practical theory and placement opportunities that are fundamental to your future success. We are also asking for living grants for these students – so that they can get the money they need to pay for accommodation, food and living costs whilst completing their studies.
Tell your MP to do their part to support students. Your voice is crucial in the fight to give students opportunities to thrive in their future learning and careers, benefiting not just you and future students, but Birmingham and the West Midlands as a whole.
Here is the petition:
Dear Member of Parliament,
I am calling on you to ensure that students at Universities and Colleges around the country are not left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic. At University College Birmingham, students have been unable to undertake practical, skills based learning that is essential for them to be able to move into careers in areas that will stimulate the economy in the coming years; areas such as hospitality and catering, which will desperately need skilled and capable career staff to reinvigorate the sector. UCB serves the city and wider region in economic development, retaining talent in the region and growing the city and the West Midlands. We believe the government should be considering support for these students to graduate with high quality degrees not as something that serves the individual, but very much as an investment into the economic development of the West Midlands.
We call on the Government to:
Provide COVID-19 grant funds, as a proportion of the institution's loanbook funding, for 2021-22, to allow students due to graduate in 2020-21 to complete their education fully
Provide living grants to those students to allow them to complete their studies fully, or at the very least access to another year of maintenance grants from the Student Loan Company