1,000 signatures reached
To: Grant Guilford, Vice Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington
Call for International Students' Fee Refunds
Victoria University of Wellington should reimburse 30% of International Students' fees for Trimester 1 (and Trimester 2 if teaching is being delivered online), as long as International Students cannot physically utilise the University's facilities.
Additionally, this must be done in a way to also minimise job losses within the University.
Why is this important?
In response to COVID-19 Alert level 4, Victoria University of Wellington has announced that teaching will recommence online on 28 April 2020, and will continue ONLINE for the remainder of Trimester 1.
1) INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS PAY EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE FEES FOR THE FULL STUDENT EXPERIENCE, NOT ONLINE CLASSES
It is unreasonable that the University continues to charge full tuition fees when all courses are being delivered online to the students, especially given the fact that international student tuition fees are extortionate, which is four times higher than the standard tuition fees.
2) ONLINE LEARNING IS LESS EFFECTIVE
There is a growing concern amongst students that the online learning methods the University has adapted (due to the pandemic) are NOT as effective, especially when done independently from any form of face-to-face teaching. More specifically, International Students believe that the current online learning approach does not justify international students’ tuition fees.
3) LACK OF ACCESS TO FACILITIES
As teaching recommenced online under Alert Level 3 and 2, students are unable to gain the full learning experience due to the lack of access to the University’s physical facilities, especially those enrolled in courses with practical components (such as campus library, studio classes, and laboratory sessions) will miss out on hands-on learning experiences.
It is unreasonable for students to pay more than $4000 to study a course that carries out practical components entirely online.
4) LACK OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS’ EXPERIENCE IN NEW ZEALAND
One of the most crucial factors is International Students also miss out on the international education experience unique to studying abroad as they are unable to interact and build connections with fellow students and academic staff from various backgrounds.
5) 30% FEE SCHOLARSHIP ELIGIBILITY SHOULD BE AMENDED
In March, a 30% fee scholarship was offered to students who are studying at a distance in Trimester 1, or who were not able to commence study in Wellington on the first day of classes on 2nd March 2020 due to the travel ban.
Since then, the situation has evolved significantly, and current border closures now affect all International Students who are in their home countries and are unable to return to New Zealand.
The scholarship offer shows that the University recognise that the International Students are unable to get the full student experience in line with the fees that they have paid because of the restrictions put in place following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hence, it is reasonable to ask that this scholarship be extended to all International Students whose student experience has been impaired due to the crisis.
This campaign is led by Victoria University of Wellington International Students' Association (V-ISA)
1) Wellington Singaporean Students' Association (WESSA)
2) Victoria University of Wellington Chinese Students' Association (CSA)
3) Victoria University of Wellington Thai Students' Association (TSA)
4) Myanmar Students' Association at Victoria University of Wellington (MSA)
5) Victoria University of Wellington Japanese Students' Society (JSOC)
6) Wellington Malaysian Students' Organisation (WMSO)
7) Victoria University of Wellington Taiwanese Students' Association (WTSA)
8) Victoria University Sri Lankan and Indian Club (VICSLIC)
9) Vietnamese Students' Association in Wellington (VSAW)
How it will be delivered
The petition will be delivered via email to the Vice Chancellor latest by 5th June 2020, 3 weeks from this petition creation.