The past year has been a difficult time for everyone, and university students are no exception. Paying over nine grand to watch online lectures inside box-like student halls isn’t an enviable scenario.

Lockdown 3.0 has prompted a fresh wave of student despair, emboldening many to demand financial compensation. University students were given a ‘travel window’ at the start of December to return home for Christmas. But with the announcement of nationwide tier 4 restrictions last week, the government has told the majority of students not to return to university until at least mid-February (a small number of students on practical courses are the exception).

“Students are paying rent for accommodation they’re essentially locked out of,” says Jo Grady, general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU). “This cannot continue. Students must be reimbursed.”