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Covid: Students Asks for Rent Refund

Welsh students require partial refunds of their university accommodation because they did not stay there for so long because of the pandemic.

The national union of student Wales(NUS Wales)  said students”shouldn’t be penalized financially” for following the welsh Government covid guidelines.

Two welsh universities have refund money to the student.

The Welsh government said universities to staggered returns and that student should return when they are asked to return.

The Welsh government introduces staggered returns in order to “help stop the spread of the virus in student accommodation”.

By agreeing to this, it means many students will have to stay at home and learn online.

But it seems to some students that they are paying for what is not been used.

Mirain Iwerydd, a first-year student at Aberystwyth University – which has told students not to come back – said: “I think if there are students who’ve missed out, and haven’t had what they’ve paid for, then as a matter of principle universities should be paying them back, because the students have paid for something they haven’t received.

“I think it would help with day-to-day living costs because, when you think about it, students haven’t been able to go out and earn a living working in cafes, for example, during their studies.”

Also, a third tear student at Aberystwyth University, Sioned Bowen, said landlords should reduce rent for students, which is done by some of them during the summer break.

“It isn’t fair if we have to stay at home and we can’t even see the house in Aberystwyth, yet are still expected to pay full rent,” she added.

Whereas, some students living in halls at Cardiff University said that they are going to stop paying rent(rent payment strike), if the rent is not reduced before they resume.

Unite Student, who gives private rentals accommodation for students in Cardiff, said it will be offering those that can come back at a 50% discount starting from 18 January to 14 February.

Becky Ricketts -NUS Wales president said the issue has been raised with Education Minister Kirsty Williams.

“Students should not be paying for rooms that they are not able to stay in,” she said.

“Students should not be financially penalized for essentially following the guidance from the Welsh Government, from their universities.

“It doesn’t seem fair, it doesn’t seem right and we completely support students who are looking for those rent rebates.”

What Universities are saying?

Swansea University said they’re still discussing it, while Wrexham Glyndwr, Cardiff, and the University of South Wales said they are not ready to refund it.

Aberystwyth University said they are looking at the side welsh government advice.

A spokesman said: “We have told our students not to travel unless absolutely necessary and will be contacting them again over the coming days with further information.

“Our priority continues to be the safety of our students, staff, and the wider community.”

University of Wales Trinity Saint David said: “The university is considering the implications of new Welsh Government advice.”

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Ifeoluwa Olumorokun

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