What questions do you have around the upcoming lecturers strikes?

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StrawberryDreams
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Students at 74 universities are set to be affected by a second wave of strikes this month – and some have started petitions asking for money back because of the disruption that staff walkouts will cause to their degrees. The upcoming strikes are planned for 14 days across February and March, and will lead to cancelled classes and absent tutors.

The strikes are happening because of two disputes: one over pensions and one over pay and working conditions. Staff at 60 universities previously went on strike over these issues at the end of 2019, and union members at an additional 14 institutions have since voted to join the industrial action.

Are you a student that is going to be affected? What questions do you have around these strikes? Do you think that you should be compensated if your classes are cancelled or results are delayed as a direct cause of this?

Jo Grady, general secretary of the union for employees at universities and colleges (UCU) will be hosting a live Facebook Q&A on Thursday 13 February from 1pm to 2pm. The live stream will be available on the UCU Facebook page and you’ll still be able to watch it after it’s been filmed. If you have any questions about the strikes that you’d like answered, you can submit them via Facebook or by sending them to this email address, either before or during the session.

You can also read more about this in our article here.
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0le
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Sucks for the students but it isn't like they will have no work to do. I am sure many will have project work, essays to write and will be thinking about exam study. The missing of one two weeks of lectures is also overstated. Everything is online so they won't miss out the actual content but rather time will be lost on having lectures delivered to them to ensure they understand the content.

Why should they get compensation as well? So they miss a couple of weeks - big deal. You pay not just for the lectures but also the online services and resources which are all still available.
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The RAR
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(Original post by 0le)
Sucks for the students but it isn't like they will have no work to do. I am sure many will have project work, essays to write and will be thinking about exam study. The missing of one two weeks of lectures is also overstated. Everything is online so they won't miss out the actual content but rather time will be lost on having lectures delivered to them to ensure they understand the content.

Why should they get compensation as well? So they miss a couple of weeks - big deal. You pay not just for the lectures but also the online services and resources which are all still available.
Not the case for all universities or for all modules, for one of my modules the resources were absolute garbage, way too little content and spelling mistakes everywhere but my department won't be striking anytime soon.
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(Original post by The RAR)
Not the case for all universities or for all modules, for one of my modules the resources are absolute garbage, way too little content and spelling mistakes everywhere but my department won't be striking anytime soon.
Fair enough, that is a separate issue. Even so, like I said in my previous post, it isn't like these students will have nothing to do. If anything, I am sure there will be some who welcome the break to catch-up or complete any outstanding work. It also won't affect their exam results because universities will typically adjust exams to account for exceptional circumstances like this. I really think the affect on students is overstated - it detracts from the real issue which is the decrease in pension for professors some of which who aren't really paid enough as it is.
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StriderHort
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(Original post by 0le)
Fair enough, that is a separate issue. Even so, like I said in my previous post, it isn't like these students will have nothing to do. If anything, I am sure there will be some who welcome the break to catch-up or complete any outstanding work. It also won't affect their exam results because universities will typically adjust exams to account for exceptional circumstances like this. I really think the affect on students is overstated - it detracts from the real issue which is the decrease in pension for professors some of which who aren't really paid enough as it is.
It does sound like you're being pretty glib :/ 2 weeks can become 3, 4, 5...you're sitting with work needing done and no way to ask questions, clarify requirements get feedback ect, then before you know it you're sitting in a mass meeting with the principal telling you you're qualification may not be awarded. TS.
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0le
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(Original post by StriderHort)
It does sound like you're being pretty glib :/ 2 weeks can become 3, 4, 5...you're sitting with work needing done and no way to ask questions, clarify requirements get feedback ect, then before you know it you're sitting in a mass meeting with the principal telling you you're qualification may not be awarded. TS.
Sounds like you didn't read my second post. I already answered that second part - the university will already make changes to the exam - they aren't going to fail an entire year group.

Regarding your first point... Learn to read textbooks, ask help on forums and self-learning - this is the entire purpose of university. Your lecturer can help yes, and yes, you are right, it is a valuable source of information that is temporarily more difficult to reach (note not impossible!) but these are young adults, not young 5 year old kids. They can use email for emergencies, they can partcipate in group work. This strike should be focused on the real issue - people's pensions have been cut with little due concern. Instead you are more worried about the students, who, as I have stated repeatedly, it will have an impact, but not as big an impact as being made out to be.
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StriderHort
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(Original post by 0le)
Sounds like you didn't read my second post. I already answered that second part - the university will already make changes to the exam - they aren't going to fail an entire year group.

Regarding your first point... Learn to read textbooks, ask help on forums and self-learning - this is the entire purpose of university. Your lecturer can help yes, and yes, you are right, it is a valuable source of information that is temporarily more difficult to reach (note not impossible!) but these are young adults, not young 5 year old kids. They can use email for emergencies, they can partcipate in group work. This strike should be focused on the real issue - people's pensions have been cut with little due concern. Instead you are more worried about the students, who, as I have stated repeatedly, it will have an impact, but not as big an impact as being made out to be.
I'll answer in reverse.

It's called 'The Student Room' I'm pretty sure lecturers have their own forums to discuss their issues and i'm not trying to tell them not to. I'm also capable of considering more than 1 issue.

You can't use email when it's closed as staff refuse to login.

What are college students supposed to do? or should they just automatically 'Level Up!' or something? Uni lecturers aren't the only ones kicking up. I'm aware this particular post is concerning 74 specific unis but it will bleed over....again.

My issue is it feels like you're only considering a small specific group of students, placing extra expectations and sod everyone else? Having been through this a few times as rep and directly told 'Your work likely won't be marked and you won't pass' I'm inclined not to be blasé about the consequences on students.
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gjd800
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Ask her why UCU Left have all the clout and why they are calling strikes before negotiations based on the newest valuations.
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(Original post by StriderHort)
I'll answer in reverse.

It's called 'The Student Room' I'm pretty sure lecturers have their own forums to discuss their issues and i'm not trying to tell them not to. I'm also capable of considering more than 1 issue.

You can't use email when it's closed as staff refuse to login.

What are college students supposed to do? or should they just automatically 'Level Up!' or something? Uni lecturers aren't the only ones kicking up. I'm aware this particular post is concerning 74 specific unis but it will bleed over....again.

My issue is it feels like you're only considering a small specific group of students, placing extra expectations and sod everyone else? Having been through this a few times as rep and directly told 'Your work likely won't be marked and you won't pass' I'm inclined not to be blasé about the consequences on students.
What do you mean email is closed? Anyone can access email from any device. I really don't know what you mean by this?

Administrators (I assume that is what you mean by reps) have literally no control over these issues. There will be meetings between the professors and heads of departments. In some cases, student representatives can attend these meetings as well. You won't fail and these issues should be taken into account by any competent university. If it comes to it (which is in my mind unlikely), you can always use an appeals procedure, and speak to the student union about this but I think it is unlikely.

I really don't understand what you are worried about. Can you share your specific example rather than claiming I am being too general, because it sounds to me like you have a very specific issue which does not reflect the majority of other students but I could be wrong.
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StriderHort
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(Original post by 0le)
What do you mean email is closed? Anyone can access email from any device. I really don't know what you mean by this?

Administrators (I assume that is what you mean by reps) have literally no control over these issues. There will be meetings between the professors and heads of departments. In some cases, student representatives can attend these meetings as well. You won't fail and these issues should be taken into account by any competent university. If it comes to it (which is in my mind unlikely), you can always use an appeals procedure, and speak to the student union about this but I think it is unlikely.

I really don't understand what you are worried about. Can you share your specific example rather than claiming I am being too general, because it sounds to be like you have a very specific issue which does not reflect the majority of other students but I could be wrong.
By email I mean when your institution refuses to reply.as part of the strike.

No, by Reps I meant Student reps, not Union (at the time, me)

For this instance i'm referring to FE Colleges caught up, not just Unis, we were absolutely informed in person by the principal we were at risk of failing and the awarding body was unlikely to budge. And frankly the head of our union said similar as you 'We support the lecturers 100%," and I don't think the word 'student' was in the statement, which didn't go down well (she was out quick after).

In the end, no, our qualifications were not properly awarded till way after UCAS deadline, so now i have a weird 2-part certificate, and as much as the Uni in question tried to reassure us, they were also kinda clear if it wasn't fixed we weren't getting in. Not what you want to hear mid summer and we had to basically wait until Uni started to find out if we could go

As said, i'm aware i'm talking about college in my example, (and in Scotland) so likely more relevant to me. But when you've been through this a few times as a student, seen the strikes extend week by week, the management backtrack and an awarding body stick their heels in, it's friggin scary (My college wasn't even affected by the issue btw, they simply went on strike in solidarity, in many cases much more militantly than the original strikers).

It's not my intent to be rude or argumentative, sorry if that's how i've came off, but it did feel like your focus was a bit narrow. If lecturers and program creators aren't that important to student's why pay them at all, y'know?
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(Original post by StriderHort)
By email I mean when your institution refuses to reply.as part of the strike.

No, by Reps I meant Student reps, not Union (at the time, me)

For this instance i'm referring to FE Colleges caught up, not just Unis, we were absolutely informed in person by the principal we were at risk of failing and the awarding body was unlikely to budge. And frankly the head of our union said similar as you 'We support the lecturers 100%," and I don't think the word 'student' was in the statement, which didn't go down well (she was out quick after).

In the end, no, our qualifications were not properly awarded till way after UCAS deadline, so now i have a weird 2-part certificate, and as much as the Uni in question tried to reassure us, they were also kinda clear if it wasn't fixed we weren't getting in. Not what you want to hear mid summer and we had to basically wait until Uni started to find out if we could go

As said, i'm aware i'm talking about college in my example, (and in Scotland) so likely more relevant to me. But when you've been through this a few times as a student, seen the strikes extend week by week, the management backtrack and an awarding body stick their heels in, it's friggin scary (My college wasn't even affected by the issue btw, they simply went on strike in solidarity, in many cases much more militantly than the original strikers).

It's not my intent to be rude or argumentative, sorry if that's how i've came off, but it did feel like your focus was a bit narrow. If lecturers and program creators aren't that important to student's why pay them at all, y'know?
I don't know what FE colleges are to be honest. I am only speaking about universities which the original post seemed to be about. If there are issues at these FE colleges then fair enough, but my posts are about universities. If you are talking about UCAS I presume you mean A-Level equivalent qualifications. I don't really know how these issues affect students at this stage, so I can't comment on that regard.

Ah, I understand what you mean by email. Yes, professors at university may not reply, but I can assure many will be checking their emails regularly. If something serious occurs, I do think they would reply. I know they are checking their emails because professors deal with funding boards, other members of staff, industrial clients, other professors from abroad. Yes, perhaps some won't, but I don't think it is a blanket case where they don't check their emails at all - the majority of professors I knew were just simply too busy to act in this way.

Student reps at university don't really know the process behind the scenes and they have little, if any power. I was actually a student rep. Their role is to make sure that the sudent voice is heard during meetings, and if students have an issue, that it can be dealt with. Typical issues are perhaps a professor's lecturer content is poor, or people are struggling with some coursework or whatever. In this case, it is the duty of the student rep to inform the staff, at the next relevant meeting, that the students are struggling (if they are) and some advice needs to be given, particularly about what happens during the exams. If they have already done this and relayed information, the next step is to seek help from the student union. I find this quite unusual though - I can't think of any situation where it benefits the unviersity to fail all the students or give them low marks. My personal experience is that the unviersity (by this I mean the professors) will generally try to ensure the students have a good experience and the grade reflects their intellect and hard work - though of course there will always be bad apples.

I dont think you came across as argumentative so don't worry. I probably came across more so, but like you, it isn't my intention either. As I said above, my posts are about students already at university. I see a lot of professors work very hard, they have to get funding for themselves, teach young people, train new researchers and become experts in their field, but don't always get the pay that reflects the dedication they give the job. I have also tried to acknowledge university students will be affected, but just tried to make the point it probably won't be at a significant detriment to those already at university. Your post seems to be for colleges, which I don't have any experience about. It seems, judging from your post, the main issue is the exam board. I am not sure why they have behaved in this way. It may be possible to apply using extenuating circumstances, but I am not sure.
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RedGiant
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Maybe students should start petitioning against ridiculous tuition fees and disruptive staff strikes. And get everyone who feels affected to threaten with legal action against the universities. And take the compensation directly out of the smug £500k/year chancellors’ salaries and bonuses, as well as the huge amounts of money being made from hedge fund investments.

Complete BS.
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Good luck if your a Cardiff uni student:
https://thetab.com/uk/2020/02/13/exc...MsLWVd5dS6o4Qs

If I ended up not being able to complete the final credits of my degree and had to sit another year id be fuming.

I hope students involved file a class action if this report in the tab ends up being true. (hopefully its not to widespread). This will cause change imo either sackings or a compromise on UCU demands, have to see how Cardiff uni handles it if this plays out...
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StriderHort
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(Original post by 0le)
I don't know what FE colleges are to be honest. I am only speaking about universities which the original post seemed to be about. If there are issues at these FE colleges then fair enough, but my posts are about universities. If you are talking about UCAS I presume you mean A-Level equivalent qualifications. I don't really know how these issues affect students at this stage, so I can't comment on that regard.

Ah, I understand what you mean by email. Yes, professors at university may not reply, but I can assure many will be checking their emails regularly. If something serious occurs, I do think they would reply. I know they are checking their emails because professors deal with funding boards, other members of staff, industrial clients, other professors from abroad. Yes, perhaps some won't, but I don't think it is a blanket case where they don't check their emails at all - the majority of professors I knew were just simply too busy to act in this way.

Student reps at university don't really know the process behind the scenes and they have little, if any power. I was actually a student rep. Their role is to make sure that the sudent voice is heard during meetings, and if students have an issue, that it can be dealt with. Typical issues are perhaps a professor's lecturer content is poor, or people are struggling with some coursework or whatever. In this case, it is the duty of the student rep to inform the staff, at the next relevant meeting, that the students are struggling (if they are) and some advice needs to be given, particularly about what happens during the exams. If they have already done this and relayed information, the next step is to seek help from the student union. I find this quite unusual though - I can't think of any situation where it benefits the unviersity to fail all the students or give them low marks. My personal experience is that the unviersity (by this I mean the professors) will generally try to ensure the students have a good experience and the grade reflects their intellect and hard work - though of course there will always be bad apples.

I dont think you came across as argumentative so don't worry. I probably came across more so, but like you, it isn't my intention either. As I said above, my posts are about students already at university. I see a lot of professors work very hard, they have to get funding for themselves, teach young people, train new researchers and become experts in their field, but don't always get the pay that reflects the dedication they give the job. I have also tried to acknowledge university students will be affected, but just tried to make the point it probably won't be at a significant detriment to those already at university. Your post seems to be for colleges, which I don't have any experience about. It seems, judging from your post, the main issue is the exam board. I am not sure why they have behaved in this way. It may be possible to apply using extenuating circumstances, but I am not sure.
Yeah I mean Further Education/Higher Education Colleges (what some might call a Poly?) generally a lower level of education, but the trouble is they often share the same unions and strike sympathies (UCU cover both, and we have EIS up here as well covering both) and as said i've seen strikes creep in length and size. (FE/HE colleges go beyond A level, and cover 1st & 2nd year of many degree through HNC & HNDs, I do 2 years at college and my final BSc year at Uni)

I only mention me having been a student rep as that was why i was invited to he crisis meetings (held off campus to reduce rep attendance) But it was a major climbdown from management, having to admit that things were nowhere near as rosy as we'd been led to believe.
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0le
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(Original post by StriderHort)
But it was a major climbdown from management, having to admit that things were nowhere near as rosy as we'd been led to believe.
This is a general rule of life with many companies. Pretend everything is okay and actually things are going to **** . Crossrail is a great example lol
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Students should hold universities accountable. Rather than the government paying for it and (maybe) sorting it out later, university education is now a product. The seller needs to deliver as advertised or compensate the customer. And if they try to be vague in their provisions, the government watchdogs should hit them.
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Magdatrix >_<
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While I don't agree with the concepts of paying for (education) and refunding (contact time) - because it's hard to disentangle,

the fact is that universities deduct strike pay from the staff's paychecks....where does that money then go?
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(Original post by 0le)
What do you mean email is closed? Anyone can access email from any device. I really don't know what you mean by this?

Administrators (I assume that is what you mean by reps) have literally no control over these issues. There will be meetings between the professors and heads of departments. In some cases, student representatives can attend these meetings as well. You won't fail and these issues should be taken into account by any competent university. If it comes to it (which is in my mind unlikely), you can always use an appeals procedure, and speak to the student union about this but I think it is unlikely.

I really don't understand what you are worried about. Can you share your specific example rather than claiming I am being too general, because it sounds to me like you have a very specific issue which does not reflect the majority of other students but I could be wrong.
I haven't read beyond this post atm, but here's an example.

My degree programme has 8 week terms. 7.5% of our final degree grade relies on an essay we write this term. We do two 4 week modules, each offers one essay question, and we have to answer one of them.

They are quite different in subject matter and both are somewhat marginal to the core subject (History), ie the academics' research projects. This means some of us have zero interest in one or other subject (Museums and Climate Change) whereas some have been waiting all year for the module. The strike dates take out all but the introductory lecture of the second module. It not only removes 75% of a module that many people felt was key to their careers, but it forces many of the course to risk 7.5% of their degree on the other subject they have no interest in. While the university can say that they won't offer exam questions on areas we haven't studied - that just completely eradicates significant course options many people were relying on. The way our timetable works, the cumulative effect of both strikes has wiped out about 20% of our degree programme.
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(Original post by 0le)
Sucks for the students but it isn't like they will have no work to do. I am sure many will have project work, essays to write and will be thinking about exam study. The missing of one two weeks of lectures is also overstated. Everything is online so they won't miss out the actual content but rather time will be lost on having lectures delivered to them to ensure they understand the content.

Why should they get compensation as well? So they miss a couple of weeks - big deal. You pay not just for the lectures but also the online services and resources which are all still available.
I'm missing out on 3 weeks worth of dissertation support. I pay to be taught, and to have the support for things such as my dissertation. I NEED that support. I can't apply for extensions, I have a postgrad course waiting for me in September. I need to graduate in summer. I should not be left adrift, while my university is making money off the strikes. My lecturers will not be answering emails, and are asking us to not come onto campus at all during the strikes - that could mean missing the first three weeks of term, and vital content. I don't have another semester to make up for these strikes, this is it, and I'm being negatively affected.

"Everything is online" yet striking lecturers are refusing to upload slides, and refusing to even talk about the content we will be missing. It's unfair on the students and we should get compensation. We're paying for a service we are not getting.
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(Original post by 0le)
Ah, I understand what you mean by email. Yes, professors at university may not reply, but I can assure many will be checking their emails regularly. If something serious occurs, I do think they would reply. I know they are checking their emails because professors deal with funding boards, other members of staff, industrial clients, other professors from abroad. Yes, perhaps some won't, but I don't think it is a blanket case where they don't check their emails at all - the majority of professors I knew were just simply too busy to act in this way.
Soz I should have followed this up at the time.

I think that's another difference between Final year/Post grad and HNC/HND undergrad stuff. Colleges have less Professors and Doctors and more just 'Lecturers', who don't really have the full range of commitments you describe and are a lot more able to just log out their work email and not log back in. In my case, some lecturers made it clear that they would of course help by email when they could...but a few more militant ones made it clear they were on strike, end of. (One of those was the only designated UCAS reference writer btw, the other was on long term sick).

I get what you say that final year/post grad students should be self sufficient enough to have a decent chance, but again HNC/HND students are on constant assessment and every grade matters for progression to next year. There's no dead time, the content and practicals delivered are v important to the required work and as threeportdrift mentioned above, a rolling pattern of a few weeks strikes can effectively wipe out a module/s. Personally i'm in a privileged position as a mature student, I can look after my workload and self study with confidence but I saw a lot of the fresher ones on the course seriously dive without direction.

Oddly my 'sort of' uni doesn't seem to be affected by these strikes, despite being based on the campus of Edinburgh Uni which totally is, I'm returning this Monday after a long leave of absence so I have no damn idea what i'm walking into
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