All students will have received the below statement from the University in the Student Bulletin on 03/03/21.
In light of advice from the Welsh Government to move to online teaching early in December, you may recall that we were the first University in Wales to offer a 10% discount to Halls Fees, as a good will gesture due to the impact of the pandemic. This simple and fair approach was equivalent to four or more weeks of rent for most students.
However, as you know, the Covid-19 situation changed significantly over the New Year period. Our latest advice to students is in force until the start of the Easter break; the majority of teaching will be online up until that date.
As a University, we have kept Halls fee arrangements under review for students who have not returned to Bangor this term, until we were clear about when students are likely to return and once all the facts are known. The student voice is very important to us and the University has been working closely with the Students’ Union to ensure that we act fairly for all students in our Halls of Residence.
The University Executive team has agreed this week to offer a rebate to all residents for the weeks that they have not been in residence during some or all of the period from Monday 11 January - Sunday 28 March 2021.
Each student will be asked to apply for a rebate based on their occupancy dates. This will be verified using room usage data, and the discount will be applied before the final Halls payment is due. It has also been agreed that, in a small number of exceptional cases, where students have permission to study from home, and have not used their room, that these students can apply to be let out of their contract.
Further details will be sent directly to all eligible residents in the next week or so, alongside details of how to apply for the rebate.
We are continuing to work hard as a University and a community - in unprecedented and fast-moving circumstances - to offer a rewarding student experience and to ensure your safety. We hope to welcome all students back to campus after Easter, subject to Welsh Government requirements in place at the time.
Before the Christmas break, you will have received the below statement through email:
“In the light of the recent advice from the Welsh Government to move to online teaching early in December, and the emerging advice about the return in January, the University's Executive team, working with the Students’ Union, has agreed to offer students a 10% reduction on their Halls fees for the current year, as a gesture of goodwill.
This will be the equivalent to four weeks rent, or more depending on your contract length, and will be available to all students in Halls without the need to opt in or opt out. We feel this is a simple and fair approach.
The 10% discount will be applied to all residents who have held contracts of 40 weeks or longer and which includes the months of December 2020 and January 2021. The 10% reduction will be automatically applied to all residential contracts in both Bangor and Wrexham.
For the majority of residents the 10% discount will be applied against future payments. Current payment plans will be amended to reflect the reduced price of your room, and payments adjusted downwards for the reminder of the year. For a very small minority of students, who have paid in advance for the full year, a refund will be issued to you.
This discount will be processed in the new year, and will be applied automatically, so you do not need to apply to the Halls Office. However, If you have any outstanding questions about how the 10% reduction will be applied, please contact the Halls Office – email@example.com”
This is great news that the University is listening to student concerns, and being fair towards students who are living in University owned Halls. However, following further guidance from the Welsh Government, the University announced that blended learning would not re-commence until 8th of February and student presence on campus was not mandatory until then. This results in halls of residence being possibly unoccupied for 8 ½ weeks.
Due to this, we have presented the following to the University:
The SU does not believe any student should be charged for accommodation that they have not/cannot use as a result of Covid-19 implications.
We believe that these demands are fair to all who have seen Covid-19 restrictions limit their ability to be on campus and receive the full extent of what they are paying for. We also understand that some students may not wish to return to Bangor due to different reasons, therefore we are asking that students who wish to be released from their contracts early, should be allowed to do so without risk of being penalised.
More details will hopefully follow, as we continue to work on your behalf to ensure fairness and compassion across the University.