Kunsill Studenti Universitarji (KSU), together with the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) Malta, call for the interests of students residing at the Malta University Residence in Lija, and other residences to be safeguarded, in light of the COVID-19Pandemic.
Most of the students who vacated the residence returned to their home country following the start of the outbreak once the University of Malta shifted all of its activities online and will remain physically closed until the end of the academic year.
We are aware of the common clause in many agreements which provides for a non-refund policy, however, we hope this is reconsidered in light of such extraordinary circumstances. While the economic burden is significant on all parties, we believe that it should not be borne entirely by students.
Students are often financially vulnerable, earning little to no income while paying significant fees for accommodation, living expenses and in some cases tuition fees. Many of these students have to pay for accommodation in their home country, which effectively means that they are paying rent in two places at once.
KSU and ESN, therefore, call for the reimbursement of any unused credit. Alternatively, the possibility to transfer any unused credit to the following academic year for those who are opting to return should be made available.
This issue affects many international students studying in Malta. We ask all parties who have not done so to take a humanitarian approach and consider the financial burden this places on students.