achievements

Student Fees Referendum Result

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UPDATE FROM MOLLY (SU PRESIDENT) AND MARK (VP EDUCATION):

Thank you for voting in the recent student fee reduction referendum.

We, as your Students’ Union, are powered by our members and are led by the change you want to see enacted. 

In this referendum our members have made their voices very strongly heard: in total 4,247 of you voted, and 98% of you voted to agree with the statement "We believe this term the university experience has failed to meet our expectations and tuition fees should be reduced to reflect this".

This is the largest democratic mandate the Students’ Union has had in recent years. We have been mandated to act, and as a sabbatical officer team, we will be reaching out to other Students’ Unions to build a national campaign to reduce student tuition fees in light of the ongoing pandemic.

The strength of the numbers speaks volumes and will leverage our course of action.

Currently, we have been working behind the scenes to make this issue known to the University and are continuing conversations with senior University management to lobby for change, including getting the University to commit to improving transparency around where your tuition fee money goes.

Due to the referendum being passed, the Sabbatical Officer team and the Students’ Union’s next course of action is as follows:

  1. Approach the University with a view to get student tuition fees refunded for term 1, or reduced for term 2
  2. Contact other Students’ Unions in the UK to establish a national campaign around tuition fee refunds
  3. Write to Members of Parliament to pressure the UK Government on the nationwide issue of university tuition fees during COVID-19, and the feeling that students are not getting what they were promised
  4. Contact the Office for Students (OfS) and the Department of Education with the aim to further support students nationally with financial and emotional challenges that students are facing across the UK and the world. 
  5. Raise awareness nationally about this problem and the impact it has on our members, through the media

As your Sabbatical Officer team and your Students’ Union, we will continue to support and represent your voices. We will update Student Parliament at every opportunity regarding this issue,  and we will also give updates via our officer blogs. Major progress will be posted on our social media and we will liaise with REBEL to communicate this further. We will also continue to work with the proposers of the referendum.

This will not be easy and we cannot promise fast or even positive results. However, we stand by our students, shoulder to shoulder, and will represent your voices to the University, and nationally.  

Thank you again for making your voices heard on this important issue, and please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or comments.

Best wishes

Molly – SU President (president@essex.ac.uk)
Mark – VP Education (vpeducation@essex.ac.uk)

On behalf of your Sabbatical Officer Team

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