COVID-19

 
Please be advised the National Union of Students are a Students’ Unions membership and campaigning organization, but we cannot do individual student casework or support. Due to the extremely high number of student emails we are receiving daily, relevant information for students around COVID-19 is detailed below.
 
If you are a student, we would highly recommend you get in touch with your local students’ union for individual support. We are in constant contact with the UK Government over key matters and are raising the case for student issues in this time of uncertainty.
 
We have released our announcement of national demands as part of our #StudentsDeserveBetter campaign, find out more, and get involved. 
 
We’re shifting now into a new phase of our COVID-19 campaigning. We are seeking legal guidance to support our – and SUs – activity so we’re equipped with knowledge around what’s lawful and unlawful in terms of the treatment of students. We have launched new national actions to urgently improve students’ experience and our work will focus on the following key demands:


 
Uphold students’ basic legal rights:


•    Students should not be subject to different rules to the rest of the public
•    Under no circumstances should students be restricted, threatened, or policed by private security forces


The right to leave without financial detriment:


•    The right to leave accommodation access education entirely online
•    The right to leave the course and defer
•    The right to leave the course permanently


Fair treatment during accommodation lockdowns:


•    Rent reimbursement for lockdown periods and free internet access
•    Care packages provided including food, household products, and wellbeing materials
•    Targeted educational and wellbeing support, and the facilitation of social activity


An effective strategy for education now and in the post-covid recovery:


•    NOW: Effective test & trace, move to online teaching as default, immediate financial & wellbeing support for students
•    POST-COVID: Invest in digital infrastructure and mental health support
•    FUTURE: A new education strategy that delivers for everyone in society: lifelong, funded, accessible
 
Keep an eye out for upcoming actions on our Instagram, Facebook, and our Twitter page.
 
If you are happy for your story to be a case study and part of our campaign, please email Comms@nus.org.uk.
 

Housing/Renting


 
We have prepared a briefing to support SUs to take action locally to secure action on NUS’ five demands for student renters during the Covid-19 crisis.


 
Good Law Project


 
As part of the #StudentsDeserveBetter campaign, we’re teaming up with the Good Law Project, who want to take a case on students being unfairly trapped in their contracts even when all their teaching has gone online. 
 
They’re looking for students who, in short
o    are living in uni accommodation,
o    have moved fully to online teaching
o    have no flexibility to leave their accommodation contract to go home without financial penalty
 
Click here to find out more. 
 


Complaint Chain

 
As part of our #StudentSafetyNet campaign, we called for students to join our mass action to win the chance to REDO, REIMBURSE, WRITE-OFF. 
 
If your query is regarding a complaint against your institution related to COVID-19, we’ve now wrapped up the Student Safety Net campaign and the Complaint Chain action. Thanks to 4000 people taking part in the Complaint Chain, we’ve got recommendations from government committees that everyone should get a government-funded debt write-off for their disruption. We’re lobbying the government to make that a reality, however, they’re not keen to spend the money.
 
NUS also had huge wins on hardship funding with this campaign, with NUS Scotland and NUS-USI winning additional funding directly to students, NUS Wales seeing an additional £50m released and England seeing £48m made available for hardship. Everyone involved in the campaign should be proud!
 
If you have a complaint about the quality of your education this term, or disruption faced due to Covid-19, we recommend you follow your uni or college’s complaints process, and we’ve prepared a guide to help you.
 
For up-to-date information on our work, check out our Instagram, Facebook, and our Twitter pages.