Video: Students demand compensation in response to strike action

By Thomas Carter

Following an announcement by the University and College Union (UCU) at the start of the month, students across the country are looking to claim tuition fee compensation after staff from 74 universities plan to go on strike over the next month.

This will be the second strike of the academic year, with action being taken previously in November and December 2019.

Beginning this Thursday(FEB20) and culminating in a week-long walkout in the middle of March, the strikes will be held over a four-week period resulting in the loss of 14 days timetabled for tuition, which has caused uproar among many students who are now looking to be reimbursed for their loss of time and education.

Staff members of over 70 universities, including long-distance institutions (such as The Open University) and those belonging to the Russell Group, have signed up to take action against pay and disputes regarding conditions.

At De Montfort University in Leicester, students are taking to Facebook to promote their compensation cause, spreading the message that they deserve money back for the tuition time they will be missing out on.

Tuition fees set students back £9,250 per year, leaving many to feel that losing teaching hours to strikes is a waste of their money.

First-year anti-strike student Marcus Finlayson gave his view on the protests in a sit-down interview with Leicestershire Press this afternoon:

Marcus stated: “I am missing out on vital teaching. If you pay for coming here, there is an element of financial loss.

“This could have been prevented, and I feel like this is only adding layers of bureaucracy to striking rather than actually engaging in dialogue.”

Tom Guyton-Day, who created the initial social media petition page, also commented, saying “Lecturers lose out on pay, students lose out on tuition and yet universities receive the same funds; this is unfair.”

In February 2019, as a response to strike action from lecturers and staff, a group of 5,000 students from all over the country took their case to court (albeit unsuccessfully), and this year could be a similar tale of events, with the number of universities taking part in the walkout rising by nine.

The full list of universities involved in the UCU strike can be read here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/10643/UKs-biggest-ever-university-strikes-as-staff-begin-14-days-of-walkouts-on-Thursday?list=1676

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