With the help of his fellow classmates, he created a petition to visualise the size of the problem and to provide a platform so that people with the same view on the issue can express their opinion. “The unfair pricing was already discussed a lot in WhatsApp groups among students. This petition shows that the problem exists and that it’s a big problem.” Gukasyan believes that the problem is even bigger than his petition shows. “Most students don’t know about the petition yet. However, I’ve received a lot of support from people at different faculties who are helping to deliver the petition to as many people as possible.”

Discount for graduating students

So far, the government has decided that students who graduate between September and January  will receive three months’ worth of tuition fees. Additionally, Erasmus University offers a sizeable discount on the tuition fees of  graduating students who are paying the institutional fee and are suffering delays. However, there are no official statements yet on what Erasmus University will do about the tuition fees of non-graduating students for next year. In Erasmus TV, rector magnificus Rutger Engels seemed to hint that there will be no discount at all.

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Deprived of offline education

The desired outcome of the petition is simple: the university should refund the cost difference between offline and online education to all students. “All of us have been deprived of offline education. None of us are getting the essential experience of studying that we came to Rotterdam for and that we paid for.” Especially students outside of the European Economic Area are suffering according to Gukasyan. “Not only do they have to go back to their home countries, but they also have to pay an awful lot more than others.”

On June 5, The Executive Board has sent an e-mail to all students with updates about the new corona regulations. In this e-mail they briefly mention the worries that some students have about the quality of online classes and the reduction of tuition fees. “As Executive Board, we are doing everything we can to start an ongoing dialogue with you to discuss what can be done to accelerate or improve the situation, within realistic limits.”

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