Letter: 'Impossible for university students to live on nothing' because of Covid-19 pandemic

Christine Whelan says her daughter is unable to complete her university degree during the Covid-19 pandemic due to health...

Ely Standard reader Christine Whelan has sent a letter to MP Lucy Frazer because her daughter is unable to complete her university degree during the Covid-19 pandemic due to health reasons. - Credit: EAST CAMBS COUNCIL

The following letter was sent to MP Lucy Frazer by Christine and Alison Whelan.

I am writing to you as one of your constituents and also on behalf of my daughter who is also one of your constituents.

She is a paramedic science student in her final year of University at UEA.

My daughter, and a number of her cohort, have medical conditions such as asthma and their placements on ambulances have consequently been cancelled.

Initially, they were told that they could have the vaccine and then complete their placements. Consequently, they were given the first dose of the covid vaccine.

They have now been told that they cannot complete their required ambulance placements until they have had the second dose of vaccine and this has been delayed by 10 weeks as a result of the change in your Government policy.

This means they will not be able to complete their placements and hence their courses in the current year and she is unable to finish her degree even though she is on course for a first-class honours.

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UEA has agreed to them continuing their placements through the summer in order that they can complete their course, however, they have failed to address the issues that this causes.

1 They are continuing to incur property rental and utility charges as they are committed to a 12-month contract irrespective of whether or not they are there

2 The extension to enable them to complete their ambulance placements does not provide them with any accommodation, requiring them to enter into a new 12-month contract

3 As their course ends this year, they will have no financial support. Their student loans have had to be used to meet their accommodation needs in the current year – how are they supposed to pay for accommodation and living costs during the extension to their course?

Clearly, this situation is intolerable. It is impossible for these students to live on nothing! The ambulance service is desperate for more trained paramedics.

By delaying these students from graduating and creating an impossible situation with regard to accommodation and funding, there is a significant risk that these dedicated students will not be able to complete their degrees.

The university have failed to offer any solution. The Government has failed to offer any solution. 

As her MP we require you to take action to help resolve this position. The decision to delay their courses in this way should mean that the University should find the accommodation for them to complete their degrees.

Further, the Government must find funding to enable these dedicated students to complete their studies. These students have been told that they are not protected by having a single dose of vaccine.

This is contrary to the claims being made by the Government. Their studies have been stopped and they have been placed in an intolerable situation by the delay in their second dose of vaccine.

Please explain why the information they have been provided with conflicts with the claims of the Government.

If you would like further information to progress a resolution on this then you can contact us on 07737500409 or 07897907357.