Pause or Pay UK is a UK-wide cross-university action group led by students that emerged in April 2020 as a response to the disruption of studio-based learning by the pandemic. We're from Arts University Bournemouth, Bath School of Art & Design, City & Guilds of London Art School, Coventry University, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, East 15, Edinburgh College of Art, Goldsmiths University of London, Kingston School of Art, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool John Moores University, Manchester School of Art, Teesside University MIMA School of Art & Design, Nottingham Trent University, Ravensbourne University London, Royal College of Art, UCL Slade School of Fine Art, University of the Arts London (Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion, Wimbledon College of Arts), University for the Creative Arts, University of Leeds and the University of the West of England Bristol and always looking to expand! We’re working closely alongside other student and staff action groups, such as the UCU branches at our universities, Liberate the University and Unis Resist Border Controls. To date, we have campaigned to MPs, initiated complaints procedures at various institutions, supported tuition fee strikes and planned direct action.
The current strategy is to exhaust all internal institutional complaints procedures so that we can bring the case to the OIA (Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education) and other higher education ombudsmen for specific regions. We’re adopting this strategy as Universities Minister Michelle Donelan has stated that universities are autonomous and are responsible for setting their own fees, in response to campaigning from various groups, including Pause or Pay UK, on tuition fee refunds (quote below).
“If students have concerns, there is a process in place. They should first raise their concerns with their university. If their concerns remain unresolved, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider their complaint”
You can read more of her response here: https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/04/09/university-students-covid19-faq/.
We are also planning direct action, and supporting other campaigns, to present a united front! We’re aiming to eventually convince our universities to lobby the government for a sector-wide bailout with this action. To do this – we need your help! Come join us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or signing up at bit.ly/joinPoP.