KOODAKPRESS

Students on how they are getting a raw deal

British university students Katrina Allen and Ben Dolbear lament their loss of teaching hours as a result of the lecturers’ strike. And pupil Romy McCarthy questions the usefulness of the GCSEs she is about to sit

According to koodakpress، I am an MA student on the journalism course at Birkbeck, University of London, fighting for compensation for lectures lost due to the staff strike. We paid £3,000 last term for services that were not provided. I wrote to the master of the university, David Latchman, about this and received no reply. I then wrote to the registrar and got this back: “Your tuition fees contribute towards your entire learning experience and are not directly linked to specific contact or teaching hours. Your tuition fees also cover infrastructure such as buildings, library and IT.” How can it possibly be stated that my entire learning experience is not diminished by a lack of lectures?

The university have taken my money and banked what they have not paid the lecturers, it seems. We have been told that the strike may affect lectures for the first two weeks of next term and could be ongoing. I have just been asked to pay my fees for the summer term. I don’t intend to throw more money at the university unless I get a promise of compensation if the strike is ongoing. I wonder if I’ll be thrown off the course?

As a student of English at the University of Southampton, I have been affected by the recent decision by the UCU that called for all of my lecturers to strike with the aim of retaining a favourable pension deal. At the end of my four-year course, I will have racked up debts in excess of £54,000, a sum that will increase at a rate of interest of approximately 6% (why didn’t I ask the banks for a loan instead?). I understand that lecturers are feeling frustrated about their pension cut, especially when the pay of the vice-chancellor of my university is £433,000. This is a perfectly legitimate concern. But without trying to mount a pedestal of moral authority, I would not be going on strike were I a lecturer. The work that goes into the six hours of lectures and seminars that I am entitled to each week is admirable. Oh, and the one hour per week during which I am able to arrange a 10-minute meeting with my tutor to discuss my progress.

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