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First of all, we want to sincerely thank you for sending us so many honest stories. Your arguments helped us in our work with International Students’ Representatives of Russell Group Universities across the UK and will continue to be a source of evidence for our appeals to UCL, Russell Group and the government.

Regarding the recent news:

Last week, we, together with International Students’ Representatives of 17 Russell Group Universities, filed a petition to which outlined struggles international students experience this year. We also stated our demand to the government—to allocate the funding for the universities, so that the universities could fairly refund their students this year. 

Once the government approves the petition, we will share the link with you. Keep an eye on the International Students’ Newsletter and Students’ Union social media pages, so that you do not miss the link to sign and share the petition.

This week, together with Students’ Unions across the UK, we worked on the Open Letter to the Russell Group, which will also outline our struggles and demands, asking the Russell Group to collaborate with us to address the issue to the Government.

Moreover, another national campaign—Students United Against Fees (SUAF) Campaignkicks off this week, which Students’ Union UCL fully supports. It is a movement that addresses the question of tuition fees for all students regardless of their fee status, programme or level of study. Ayman, our Education Officer, is a member of the advisory board—he makes sure the interests of every student at UCL is represented within the campaign. However, the success of this movement depends on your support, so please follow instagram @suaf21 and twitter @suaf211, join the campaign and share it with friends. Important information will be posted on SUAF social media in the following weeks as well. 

The other campaign that is taking place is run independently by Students’ Union UCL using the internal contacts to lobby the government for giving the funds to the university which will be used to refund the students. 

To sum up, there are two major national campaigns: Students United Against Fees (SUAF) Campaign that includes the interests of all university students across the UK and International Students’ campaign which is a complement to the SUAF, and which makes sure International Students are not left out in the national campaign. 

We will keep you updated on the progress of these campaigns and post relevant news once we receive any important information. We will try to keep in touch regularly through Students’ Union & International Students’ Newsletters and Blogposts on the Union website.

Remember that you can also always reach out to us via email— .

Frequently Asked Questions

Should we pay the second instalment by 7 February? Will UCL make any adjustments before this date?- one of the most frequently asked questions

Yes. As International Students Officers we recommend you pay the amount due by the date required, as we do not want your studies to get affected and your access to UCL services suspended. 

We represent the interests of international students at UCL but we cannot encourage students to disregard payment of the tuition fees. 

Is there any support to self-funded international PhD students?

PhD students are eligible for any financial support that the other students are eligible for. You can apply for a financial assistance fund; there is now a specific branch of the fund for research students to apply to. More details can be found on this page.

For all undergraduate, postgraduate taught, PGCE and other students who find themselves in unexpected financial need, applications can be made to the other branch of the financial assistance fund. More details can be found on this page.

When we will be given refunds?

The campaign to refund tuition fees will be long and difficult and there’s no guarantee of its success - it’s never happened before in the UK, but these are unprecedented times.

At the moment we cannot provide you with an estimate of when refunds would be made and the outcome does not solely depend on us. 

What amount will be refunded?

The campaign asks that the amount refunded will be decided by each university and dependent on the funds provided by the government. We don’t know yet whether any reimbursement amount would be derived as a percentage from the initial tuition fees or a fixed number. 

How to apply for tuition fees refund?

For now, you cannot apply for the tuition fees refund as again, it is not confirmed yet whether the refunds will be made. However, once there is any update on this, we are going to inform every student regarding the update. 

Can I make a complaint to UCL to get a refund?

We continue to hold UCL to account to make sure that your experience lives up to what was promised at the start of the year. However, we know that there will be instances where students will rightfully feel that the academic standards they have come to expect, could not – or have not – been met. If this is how you feel, you may have valid grounds for a complaint. If your complaint is upheld, one of the outcomes may be a fee refund. Use the UCL Students Complaint Procedure to make your case, with the support of our Advice Service. Our Advice Service is a phenomenal resource, independent from UCL and available to support any student through the entire process. It is also important to note that, as part of the guarantees of a fair hearing, a Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer will always be one of the panellists at the Complaints Panel Hearing if it needs to reach that stage.

I’ve been approached / seen adverts for law firms offering to help me get a fee refund, what should I do?

It has come to our attention that some students have been contacted by law firms posturing to prepare group legal complaints against UCL. We’re also aware that some of these law firms are operating overseas. As a Students’ Union, we do not endorse any law firms to assist students with legal claims.

You can read more about this here.

If you still have a question you could not find an answer to on this page, feel free to contact us at

Keep an eye on Students’ Union newsletters and social media accounts for more updates from us!

What to do if you do not receive newsletters from us? Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter for International Students to add your email address to our mailing list.

Madina and Nellia

International Students’ Officers