How the UK is helping students during COVID: Part ii
Back in May, I wrote a blog outlining the comprehensive, world beating measures taken by the British Government to ensure that students were not too adversely affected by COVID. Sorry by comprehensive, world beating, I meant the government’s half arsed attempt at ‘measures’ to support students during the pandemic. So lets have a run through some of the government’s particular low lights over the last few months.
- Telling students to come back to university, and that they should be able to have a normal university experience. Before locking thousands of freshers up in their shoe-box rooms and making socialising illegal, leading to a massive mental health crisis. Then, to top it all off, having the chutzpah to blame students for the rise in COVID cases, after they were ordered back to university as most had face to face teaching.
- Telling students that they shouldn’t return to university in second term, whilst not paying their rent. Leaving the majority of students who live off campus, in non-university managed accommodation, with rent to pay, whilst they are meant to leave their houses empty.
- Telling students that the quality of their online classes is equivalent to that of in person ones, whilst they are also unable to access their university faculties. Thus, they have to carry on paying £9250 as if everything is normal.
- Helping students by leaving them to fend for themselves in the smouldering remains of the UK jobs market. With no help provided to ensure that students who have had almost half their degree moved online, and put what is meant to be the time of their lives on hold, can at the very least get some kind of job upon graduation into the worst rescission since records began.
- Carried on barring students from accessing any benefits during their holidays, whilst most part time jobs have ended due to COVID. One of the consequence of this is that over 1700 students are currently using a single foodbank in East London.
All the measures that could have had a positive impact on students during the pandemic, such as; fee reductions, rent rebates, increased provision for mental health services, allowing student to access benefits during the holidays and a graduate job creation scheme, the government has chosen to eschew. Instead, the government has clearly done its upmost to ensure that current students get to experience the joys of being shafted by a conservative government at a younger age than is traditionally the case.