A BASINGSTOKE student has kick-started a campaign demanding a refund from his university after feeling short-changed by the standard of teaching.

Liam Scott, who is in his first year at the University of Wolverhampton, has been left furious after receiving just six hours of online lectures a week while paying £9,250-a-year for his policing course.

The former QMC pupil, who grew up in Kempshott, said the tuition cost is 'outdated' and is urging his university to issue a partial refund to students.

The 19-year-old said: "No one has spoken out about it. I find it extremely unfair that students are stuck paying ridiculously high tuitions fees when the standard of education is not as high as it was before the pandemic.

"Since the start of university, my course consists of six hours a week of online lectures. This is simply unacceptable for £9,250 per year.

The Aldworth School alumni said he is sympathetic to the university for having to adapt to the current pandemic but felt it was unfair students were still being charged the full amount when they were not receiving the same level of education.

He continued: "Obviously, the university experience since I got here is not what is what last year and I completely understand why these rules and restrictions are in place. But as a consequence, students are not being educated at the level we expect. I believe the £9,250 price tag is outdated and needs to be changed."

The average academic university year is 30 weeks in total, making Liam's course cost £51 a hour or £308.33 a week.

On top of this, students have to shell out for accommodation with the average weekly rent for a first year coming in at £147 or £661.5 for a month.

Liam's petition on Change.org has already gathered 1,154 signatures with students echoing his experience.

Samatha Metclafe said: "Currently I receive three hours per week tuition with a tutor and this is online."

While Ashleigh Barnett added: "I want a partial refund for not being able to experience a face-to-face learning, hindering my education. I believe it is unfair to charge full tuition for something I could potentially learn from YouTube."

And Lauren Braker claimed: "I am a mental health nursing student. We have had not face-to-face lectures and some staff have been rude to us when asking questions."

Julia Clarke, deputy vice-chancellor said: “We always take student feedback very seriously and have worked in partnership with students on the measures we have had to take in response to the pandemic. In fact, the University has not cancelled all face to face teaching and has in place a model of blended learning which offers students a mixture of online and on-campus teaching. As a university we are continually investing in the student experience and at this extremely important time, the safety of our students is paramount.  

“We continue to follow the Government and the Office for Students advice on tuition fee refunds, which was referenced in yesterday’s new guidance for higher educational institutions as the country approaches a new national lockdown.

“The university campuses, including libraries and IT suites, remain open for both study and support. To enable these facilities to be available, we have put in places measures to support the safety of our community including enhanced cleaning, social distancing measures and provision of hand sanitiser.

“We’ve also invested in a new laptop loan scheme to help those students who are not able to come onto campus and who are struggling with digital poverty.”

Geoff Layer, the vice chancellor of Wolverhampton University, was paid an annual salary of £290,000 in 2018-19, according to a Freedom of Information request.

In the same year, the Express and Star reported Mr Layer spent £27,882 on mainly business class air travel.