Many universities in the United States have moved most courses from offline to online due to the new crown epidemic, but tuition fees have not been reduced due to the reduction of face-to-face classes. Some schools have even increased tuition fees, causing student dissatisfaction.

  In order to prevent and control the epidemic, some colleges and universities in the United Kingdom closed their campuses and did not open face-to-face lectures, which also pushed up calls from all walks of life for tuition refunds.

The picture shows the campus of an elementary school in Arlington, Virginia, USA on September 2.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Chen Mengtong

[Face-to-face tuition reduction and increase]

  Reuters reported on the 27th that the high cost of higher education has always been a major problem in American society.

After the outbreak at the beginning of this year, this problem became more serious.

Approximately two-thirds of American institutions of higher learning chose to move some or all of their courses this fall online, and the campus resources available to students are also greatly restricted. Coupled with previous anti-epidemic measures such as canceling courses and closing campuses, this has prompted More and more students publicly protested the school's measures, believing that they did not receive an education that matched their tuition fees.

  Isaiah Moore, 21, is from New Jersey, majoring in television and cultural studies at Columbia College in Chicago.

The college collects US$14,000 (approximately RMB 95,500) tuition from full-time students each year to provide professional guidance on art courses such as dance, film, and music.

However, affected by the epidemic this year, some courses of the college were changed to online courses, but the tuition fee did not drop at all.

Moore is now leading the students to demonstrate in the school, hoping to persuade the school to reduce tuition and make the school's financial situation more open and transparent.

  At present, more and more American college students choose to join Moore's ranks. There have been dozens of lawsuits across the country for students suing the school and demanding the latter to return tuition, and many students have filed online petitions.

According to statistics from the US "Change" website, about 1,500 tuition refund petitions have been registered on the website so far, and nearly a million netizens have signed the support.

  However, many schools rejected it on the grounds that staff salaries and operating costs were not reduced due to the epidemic.

The University of New Mexico levied more than US$8,000 (58,600 yuan) in tuition fees from students in the state this year, which was even 2.6% higher than the original.

Ava Yelton, a public health and psychology student at the school, pointed out that the school was "immoral."

  Although Georgetown, Princeton, Northwestern University and other colleges and universities cut tuition fees for the fall semester by 10%, current students are still dissatisfied.

175 students from Northwestern University intend to boycott tuition fees from October 1st, requiring the school to cancel the 3.5% increase in tuition fees in June this year before lowering the tuition fees, and to "cut" tuition fees by at least another 30%.

[Online classes are still closed?

  In the UK, there have been confirmed cases of new crown in at least 32 universities.

In order to curb the spread of the virus, the school allowed students to isolate themselves in the dormitory and take online classes. Thousands of freshmen still have to pay a year’s tuition and rent of 9,250 pounds (80,500 yuan).

  The British "Daily Mail" reported on the 27th that Manchester Metropolitan University has recently seen a surge in cluster infections. The school requires about 1,700 students to self-quarantine for 14 days even if they do not have symptoms of the new crown.

Some students could not get out of the dormitory and chose to post signs on the windows, questioning the school's non-refund of tuition.

Jess Cook, a Kent man, only recently sent his son to the university campus, thinking that paying 9,000 pounds (78,400 yuan) a year in tuition is "too waste" and that the students are "in a difficult situation."

"There should definitely be a discount on tuition fees. Of course, the school also needs government support. The school has been under tremendous pressure by deciding to admit children to school, and they have done what they should do to ensure the safety of students."

  Larissa Kennedy, president of the National Student Federation of the United Kingdom, said: “We must seriously discuss compensating students whose learning quality is severely affected.” Robert Halfon, chairman of the Education Committee of the Lower House of the British Parliament, also believes that if students cannot obtain a considerable degree For face-to-face teaching, they "definitely should get a discount on tuition loans."

But Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Research Institute, believes that it is difficult for schools to return tuition fees because the cost of high-quality online courses is not lower than that of face-to-face courses, and some universities are already facing bankruptcy risks.

  In order to compensate the students, the University of Glasgow announced on the 26th that it will refund one month's rent and 50 pounds (435.5 yuan) for food expenses to the students.

  In addition to the tuition issue, students who are trapped in school and cannot go home for Christmas are also concerned.

Halfon warned that prohibiting students from going home would cause "great pain."

Hillman said that if the school leadership decides to suspend face-to-face classes and move the courses online, "this is almost equivalent to encouraging students to go home."

(Ocean) (Xinhua News Agency Special Feature)