By filing lawsuits due to the transfer of the educational process to the online mode, students, on average, demand a 15-25% reduction in tuition fees. Unofficially, universities recognize the validity of these requirements. But they have no money, and therefore they will be able to recalculate only if they receive a state subsidy for this. The state, as stated by the head of the All-Russian Student Union, Oleg Tsapko, “shifted all the costs of distance learning to universities, and those to students – the most vulnerable participants in the educational process.”
Dissatisfaction with the quality of education after the transition of universities to distance learning, according to Tsapko, is total in nature: “I personally have not met students satisfied with the distance! All paid students have complaints about the quality of online education, of whom today are almost 60% of the total student body. Somewhere students complained that they could only watch video lectures, and when they sent assignments to teachers, they were never answered.
And, say, at the St. Petersburg University of Water Transport. Makarov did not have classes at all for the entire spring semester. And the parents are perplexed: why do they spend their mother capital on this !? People pay and do not understand for what, and after all, prices reach 300 thousand rubles. in the semester! “
The reasons for recalculating the cost of training with the transition of universities to distance learning, according to Tsapko, are more than weighty. This is a change in the form of presentation of material, and an almost complete curtailment of the socio-cultural activities of universities, and the freezing of the work of university libraries, laboratories and research centers. But all this was included in the initial cost of training.
Almost everyone is talking about the decline in the quality of online learning. For many years, universities have spent a lot of money on supporting distance learning tools. And when it came, it became clear: at best, students can rely on text materials. And no interactivity. Almost anywhere! But there are a lot of stories, like with that old professor who lectured in front of a black computer screen for two academic hours, but no one heard the lecture, because he pressed the wrong button …
In this situation, students believe, it would be fair to reduce tuition fees by 20-30%, and where there were no classes at all – perhaps by 80%, or even 100%. Indeed: what to pay for if the university has stopped classes?
It is noteworthy that many universities, according to Tsapko, “also do not want to shift everything to students. Many teachers and even rectors-pro-rectors admit the validity of the requirements. But universities have no money to return them. Moreover, many of them had to pay extra for the work of teachers, who, with the transition to online, began to work twice or three times more. Therefore, funds for recalculation of universities should be given by the state – grants or subsidies. This is not a lot of money, but it could support education. And without state subsidies, universities will fight to the last to avoid recalculation.
Alas, the state is showing a tendency to distribute subsidies, Tsapko stated:
– The position of the Ministry of Education and Science is that in order to reduce prices, it is necessary to prove that the quality of education has decreased. This suggests the expectation that cases in the courts will get bogged down in papers and court hearings, and that students cannot afford quality expertise, which costs hundreds of thousands of rubles. Thus, in fact, the state shifted all costs to universities, and those to students – the most vulnerable participants in the educational process.
However, there is a chance to win the recalculation lawsuits, assured Florence Lenskaya, a lawyer representing the interests of students.
– The presentation of materials and the form of interaction between teachers and students have changed significantly. In addition, due to the unpreparedness of teachers for online learning, the quality of the presentation has decreased. The form of training has changed. This means that the terms of the previously concluded agreement have changed, which, in accordance with Article 453 of the Civil Code, is a reason for revising the cost of education. And there is no need to prove any decrease in the level of education. By the way, the state has already provided financial support to business. Now we need to support universities. Otherwise, to paraphrase the classics, we will get the formula “Onlineization of students’ helplessness = collapse of Russian education”.