Coronavirus: But uni’s vice chancellor slams private third-party housing providers refusing to cancel rent costs
Nottingham Trent University (NTU) will waive accommodation fees for law students that have left the city during the coronavirus lockdown.
In a statement on Friday, NTU’s vice chancellor, Professor Edward Peck, said he was “acutely aware” of students’ concerns about being charged fees for their accommodation while isolating at home during term three.
He confirmed all students that have vacated their term-time residence and will not be returning to their rooms this academic year will not be charged rent. This only applies to those staying in accommodation provided directly by NTU or its partner, University Partnerships Programme (UPP). NTU told Legal Cheek this applies to any Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC) student in this situation.
“Consistent with our commitment to putting the interests of our students first, we have decided NTU will waive all term three accommodation fees for all accommodation provided by the university directly or in partnership with UPP who do not return to Nottingham this academic year,” Professor Peck said, adding:
“Fees will apply for those students who do return or who do not leave; we recognise that some of these students may be suffering financial hardship due as a consequence of the current crisis and we have already increased the resources available to support them through our hardship fund.”
NTU said it is unable to make the same decision on behalf of private third-party accommodation providers but is in active discussion with some of the larger ones. Some, it said, are cancelling third term accommodation fees for students who will not be in residence, while others are refusing to waive these fees.
“For me, this is unjust. Those students who are staying away are doing so to respect government advice to stay at home and thus safe lives; in my view they should not be financially penalised for embracing their civic duty,” continued Professor Peck.
NTU previously suspended all face-to-face teaching to curb the spread of the virus on campus. Since then it has put in place arrangements to support its students through online learning and will advise them this week about their online assessments taking place in the summer.