LONDON (Reuters) – Thousands of college students gave the London High Court the go-ahead on Wednesday for a class action lawsuit against University College London (UCL) over school interruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic and strikes. asked to give
More than 3,000 current and former students who paid at least £9,250 (about $11,482) a year have sued UCL for breach of contract, and the lawsuit could follow suit against other UK universities. have a nature.
UCL said it did not violate its contract with the student. The university claims it was allowed to change or cancel some courses due to circumstances beyond its control, such as the pandemic and the resulting lockdown.
Lawyers filing the lawsuit against UCL said about 100,000 students from 18 universities, including UCL, have signed up to file the lawsuit.
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Universities across the UK have moved to online learning during the pandemic, and students have been denied access to educational facilities such as libraries.
Attorney Anna Boaz, representing the plaintiffs, told court Tuesday that the students were promised “face-to-face on-campus tuition” under the contract with UCL, but “we were unable to get the negotiated amount.” I didn’t,” he said.
Student tuition fees were also affected by industrial action from 2017 to 2022, with a total of 47 days of classes “cancelled” as a result of the strike, Boaz said.
“They want justice,” she added. “They came to court asking for the difference between the eye-watering amount they paid and the actual value of the services UCL provided.”
UCL’s lawyers argue that there is no difference in the “market value” of face-to-face and online classes.
UCL has asked the High Court to stay the case so that the student can pursue a whistleblowing process.
A decision on whether the lawsuit should be stayed is expected Wednesday afternoon.
(Reporting by Sam Tobin, Editing by Alex Richardson)
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