The Union president and the Deputy President (Welfare) have indicated that the Union would support a tuition fee strike by foreign students but are not able to “encourage people” to not pay.
In an Instagram live conversation, Union President Abhijay Sood said that while a tuition fee strike by home students was not feasible given most students pay their fees through Student Finance England, the Union would back efforts by international students who have to pay their fees upfront.
He also acknowledged, however, the potential risks for those involved in strikes, including the loss of their UK visas.
The Tier 4 student visa that many international students have which allows them to enter Britain to study has stringent requirements and can be summarily withdrawn if students are not meeting the requirements of the visa, one of which is having enough money to pay for their course.
International student officer, Isabelle Zhang has previously written a letter to the Provost in September, demanding meaningful negotiations with the Union about its tuition revenue and expenses, and any possible fee reduction as other prominent universities have done as well as transparent criteria for case-by-case fee reductions, and other financial support. These demands, however, have not been met and the College has insisted that student education has not seen a drop in quality.
If you are an international student who believes their fees should be reduced, get in touch with Isabelle Zhang (email@example.com) or contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to tell us what you think.