I think this issue is actually a little more complicated.
I am very ambivalent about the whole thing. Firstly, because I think the strikes were about real issues lecturers face in this new brave world of fees: astonishing amount of work is expected from them often for the same money, with much more pressure to be available 24/7, not to mention students’ expectations to get best degrees because they pay for it; that’s before we talk about insecure contracts, 0 hours contracts and much more besides. I would NOT want to be a lecturer in HE these days. So I wholeheartedly supported the strikes, even when I could see they were affecting the students I work in a significant way. My husband, who works for the Uni but is also a student, experienced both sides of the argument - supporting his lecturers in striking, but now having had only 3 real lessons in a whole term - realising the impact this has on his studies, as he’s about to start a dissertation.
As for paying fees back…? Well, international students aside (as they actually PAY for their degree), most of the students I work with are unlikely to ever pay their loan, unfortunately. So it’s not real money they are losing here. I even had a curious such request from a student who had the poorest attendance of Uni I had yet to come across. This takes irony to another level.
Sorry to go on… I just wanted to explain that things are not quite a simple from the inside, but I can see how this would annoy and upset a huge number of students.
EDIT: incidentally, I just logged into my Co-op on-line banking, to find that the Co-op is “Putting customers at the heart of what they do”… Is there no way out of this marketing horror film?!!