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To: Grant Guilford, Vice Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington

Call for International Students' Fee Refunds

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)

Endorsed by
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)

More articles at:
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/121031270/coronavirus-students-want-refunds-after-universities-move-learning-online

https://nzisa.co.nz/2020/04/08/international-student-fees-what-are-we-paying-for/

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.

Wellington, New Zealand

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • It’s unfair enough that we pay the price of tuition 3-5 times more than the locals, but with only a fraction of the privilege they are given. However, paying the full, premium price for something that we were not promised with is just beyond unreasonable. I hope the university and the government takes action to resolve this matter as it is unfair to capitalise on the International students as way to cover for the losses of profit and economic reasons caused the pandemic.
  • New Zealand was known as a country of fairness and common sense. However the recent measures are taken abruptly without a deep analysis on how they impact the society, in particular to those ones investing in the country’s main source of income, Universities, Real Estate and Tourism. Hopefully, Grant reviews this fair case before it is too late to keep the good reputation of Victoria University of Wellington, damaging the future University’s finances.
  • This is genuine request

Updates

2020-06-05 08:27:44 +1200

1,000 signatures reached

2020-05-17 15:05:03 +1200

500 signatures reached

2020-05-16 20:19:31 +1200

100 signatures reached

2020-05-16 16:56:47 +1200

50 signatures reached

2020-05-16 15:10:06 +1200

25 signatures reached

2020-05-16 14:35:37 +1200

10 signatures reached