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STEP TWO: Change for Students #studentsafetynet
The Students’ Union is working hard to support students at Northumbria. But many of the issues that are causing students most concern can only be resolved through Government intervention. These include
· Hardship – creation of a national fund to support all students, UK, EU and International.
· Re-do – allow all students the opportunity to retake this year
· Reimburse – Write off this year’s debt for students and reimburse accordingly
· Accommodation rights – giving renters additional legal protection at this time.
This is why NSU is pleased to support the National Union of Students’ (NUS) #studentsafetynet campaign.
NUS research has shown that 33% of students are at critical risk of being unable to access their education, 85% need additional financial support as incomes drop in the lockdown and 81% are concerned about future job prospects.
How to get involved
1. Write to your MP
We will be writing to all MPs in Newcastle asking them to support the campaign. See our open letter on the website.
We would urge all students to do the same. We have provided a template letter you can use here. Find your MP here. Remember, you can write to your local MP at University and at home!
The more letters MPs receive, the more likely they are to listen to the NUS campaign and take action. There is also a petition on gov.uk (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/302855) asking for the cancellation of the full year’s fees. This came before the NUS campaign and NUS are urging everyone to sign it rather than create a duplicate.
2. NUS have created some graphics that you could share over social media to express your support for the campaign. They are available here.
Dear <Insert MP Name>,
Much like everyone else, students have experience profound shock from COVID-19. As well as the disruption and uncertainty to education, many students have seen their financial circumstances worsen with the loss of jobs in service sectors. Student finance often does not cover accommodation costs, let alone living costs, and many landlords are preventing students from leaving contracts early even though they have returned home to reduce chance of virus transmission, in line with government guidance.
[if you have your own examples of how COVID 19 has affected you add them here].
As my MP I would ask that you support the National Union of Students’ (NUS) campaign #studentsafetynet and also support the rights of renters at this time.
NUS’ research has shown that over 80% of students have been negatively affected by COVID 19 with tens of thousands now uncertain about both their current finical circumstances and their long-term career prospects. While Universities are doing what they can to help, only government action can provide a national solution as with many other sectors.
NUS asks for the creation of a student hardship fund, the option for all students to retake the entire year of their education at no additional cost, reimburse those students who have paid tuition fees upfront and write off the tuition fee loans for this year for those who have paid
fees via student loans. Access to redo the year must be combined with extended eligibility for maintenance support, to ensure that it is an affordable option for all who choose to do so.
I hope you will be supportive of the NUS campaign and show your support in Parliament and publicly through sharing their content and messaging