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Frustrated students are on the brink of strike action over the quality of their online tuition.

Emboldened by the recent success of rent strikes, the group at the London School of Economics are demanding a partial refund on their tuition fees.

They’ve written to the university asking for a third off their fees.

Post-graduate student Kit Digby spent £15,000 on her international history master’s degree.

Although last term went ahead as planned, this term all her learning is online, which she says is an "isolating" and "uninspiring" experience.

"One of the things we pay for when we go to university is community and facilitation of discussion, and approaching topics with new angles, and it’s just not possible online," she said.

"We understand this, but that’s why we’re asking for a third of that cost back."

Undergraduates are also angry, including second year student George Burrows at Plymouth University, who described his online learning as "a waste of time."

He’s living in privately rented accommodation, which is also costing him thousands of pounds.

He believes the charges for tuition fees during lockdown are "disgraceful", saying: "I think it’s distasteful that the government really think they can charge £9,000 for an online course.

"That’s an insult to the very definition of higher education."

There is similar upset among third year students.

At De Montfort University, law student Aisha Animashaun is studying for her final year.

She is unhappy with her online teaching, and says she’s "struggling" with the lack of contact with teaching staff.

"We’re having online lectures that aren’t live, and we’re also expected to supplement that learning," she said.

For Aisha, there’s the added pressure of needing a good degree to secure her planned legal career.

He said: "This is like the final countdown, it’s the last thing we have to getting our qualifications. But how can we apply for jobs with an education that we’re not getting?"

She is part of a campaign group fighting for more support and a reduction in tuition fees.

First year students in university halls of residence started rent strikes last year when they were told they couldn’t return to their accommodation.

At Manchester University, they occupied a building for two weeks, which resulted in a rent reduction for last term, with the year’s rent waived until students can return.

But one of the organisers, Ben McGowan, still feels overlooked and let down.

He said: "What we’ve learned is universities and government don’t give up anything without a fight. I don’t think they would have done this without the pressure we put on during the campaign."

Ben would also like to see a reduction in his tuition fees.

There is also resentment schools and colleges have been given more support than students.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department for Education said: "Universities are responsible for their tuition fees, but the government has been clear they are expected to maintain quality and academic standards and the quantity of tuition should not drop.

"They should seek to ensure all students, regardless of their background, can access their studies remotely."

The Office for Students has been asked to monitor education standards during the pandemic.

It will follow up cases of concern, and has the power to take regulatory action.

© Sky News 2021