University strikes at sixty-five institutions across the UK have left one million students worried that their grades and future careers are in jeopardy.
Coby Benson, Solicitor at Bott and Co explained, “Some students were fortunate enough to have had their studies unaffected, or perhaps been able to re-arrange tuition time, however for many students this was simply not possible.
“These students will now be facing exams and attempting to complete written work without having received the full tuition that they paid for and are entitled to. It is only right that those students are compensation for this loss and for the distress and inconvenience that they have been put through.”
With university fees at an all-time high of £9,250 per year for UK and EU students, and considerably higher for international students, Bott and Co is seeking to remunerate those affected with compensation.
Two students spoke to Bott and Co about their personal experiences of the strikes under a condition of anonymity.
UCL Student’s Dissertation Hangs in the Balance
A final year student from University College of London has missed four weeks of lectures at the crucial time of writing her 10,000 word dissertation while also revising for two lengthy exams. She states: “I was forced to miss my very final four weeks of lectures and have had to self-teach to try to secure the grades I need to get a job in one of my preferred industries of sport or travel.
I’m actually pretty angry… This is my future being jeopardized.
“There has been no communication with our dissertation tutors and our deadlines have been pushed back by almost two weeks. I’ve spoken to other students, and no one wants the dissertation putting back, because we have other essays to hand in and exams to revise for so it’s not really helpful. We want to submit it on the day it was supposed to be in.”
At the picket line, the student told us that striking lecturers were trying to sway decisions: “On the days I went into university, lecturers at the picket line were blocking my entrance and telling me not to go in… I felt pressurised.
One of my friends was in tears every time I saw her due to the stress.
To add insult to injury, no strike action will be taken into consideration when university papers are being marked, meaning there are no mitigating circumstances.
Whatever I achieve this year will contribute 85% towards my overall classification.
It isn’t only her degree that has been plunged into chaos due to the strikes; her living situation has, too. “I terminated my contract where I was living – there’s no point paying when my teaching technically ended at the end of February. Why would I pay nearly £4,000 in rent when I’m not actually attending anything?”
She has returned home to Manchester and will have to make the long journey down to London on two separate occasions for her exams. “I’m actually pretty angry… This is my future being jeopardized.”
First Year Student: “We needed answers and we didn’t get them”
Another student affected by strikes is nearing the end of her first year at Keele University. Having missed 27 hours of lectures and seminars, she feels anxious about her 3-hour long exams coming up soon, and a lack of contact has added to her distress.
Marking is supposed to have a three week turnaround. I’m still waiting for some marks, and it has been more like five weeks…. it isn’t fair.
While she acknowledges that some lecturers did respond to queries on strike days, she says, “There are some that I feel have blatantly and completely slacked by not responding – we needed answers and we couldn’t get them. I had essays that were two-thousand words long to write… it came right down to the wire.”
Keele University Union held a question and answer session regarding the strikes, which left her even more disenchanted: ‘If you did not agree with what the lecturers were striking for… your opinion was not valid and you were pretty much heckled.’
If you’re a student affected by lecturer strikes, contact us to start a claim for compensation.