Universities must stop dragging their heels on refunds – Byrne

Published on: 24 April 2020

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne has called on Universities to immediately refund students for any prepaid fees for campus accommodation.

Deputy Byrne said it wasn’t good enough that students still hadn’t received refunds given the dire financial situation many of them were in now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said, “More often than not students pay by semester for their accommodation on University campuses and in many instances, there are many other bills built into the cost of the accommodation such as bin charges, WiFi, and gas and electricity bills.

“Some have taken out loans to pay for this, others have had the help of their parents, many of whom are now experiencing their own financial difficulties. They are dependent on these refunds which many Universities have promised.

“’When University closures were announced the majority of students left their campus accommodation to go home. Some had to look after loved ones, others have taken over childcare duties for their younger siblings as their parents work.

“They lost their own part-time work in the hospitality sector and are at a major disadvantage. The refund of these pre-paid fees is only fair. They shouldn’t have to wait months for them wither, the Universities need to get moving on this,” he concluded.

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