The lecturers’ strikes: A student point of view

If you are a UK student, lecturer, or indeed, simply watch the news from time to time, you will have heard of the lecturers’ strikes that have been going on for a couple of years. With no pay raise in the last few years and increases in the cost of living and pensions, UK teachers and lecturers alike are bringing home less money than they were before. It’s no surprise, really, that they decided to take actions. What surprises me however, is that the only thing we hear about are these strikes; nothing about negotiations or proposed alternatives. get a free trial of viagra

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This short video explains the issue quite clearly, I believe. It is also a good example of how little the public, and I have to assume most of the concerned parties, as well, know about ongoing negotiations. Indeed we just know the University and College Union (UCU) refused a 1% pay rise that they were offered, but nothing about further discussions.

Lecturers' Strike

After years of strikes that students tend to wrongly appreciate because it means missing lectures, we suddenly hear about a grading boycott. Again, some students are probably looking forward to it, as it could potentially mean postponed exams. The details are so shady, however that the boycott is only a thought, at the back of our minds throughout most of this last semester. Until the BBC suddenly announces that it is, in fact, going to be a UK-wide action that will start on the 27th of April. First and second years will probably not care that much, but what about the third years? What does this mean for us? Will we get our degrees on time, if at all? Considering the stupid amount of money we’re paying, a stupid amount which almost tripled two years ago, how on earth did we end up in this situation?

Assuming we’re just accepting the increase in fees like the good little students that we are, I still have a question: where is all our money going? Obviously, not where it should, otherwise we wouldn’t be in this situation. From what I can see, at Southampton Solent University, that money is partially (if not totally) used to renovate, improve and build new facilities. Now, does every university needs new, shiny computers and buildings? Probably not. Does Solent needs a new building costing £30 million? As far as I can see, no. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I got to go to university in nicely redecorated buildings, but I certainly didn’t need it. Granted, I used these new computers heavily during my course, but an entire new building is not necessary, especially after all the recent renovations.

As an institution aiming to imbue young people with knowledge, shouldn’t this corporation -and by now, we have to admit it’s become one- take care of its own? And by that I mean the staff without whom any teaching wouldn’t be taking place, because they are teachers. What are your thoughts? Do you think our money should be used on the people that make a university a great educational institution or on the facilities which only strengthen its worth as corporation? cialis generico en venezuela

5 thoughts to “The lecturers’ strikes: A student point of view”

  1. I have to admit, this grading boycott seems to have come out of nowhere. I think it is part of the universities plans though to make it look like the lecturers are constantly striking, this makes the lecturers look bad, not the universities. After all, would negotiations aren’t really news-worthy but strikes are and I completely agree with them! I too have written a blog about the lecturer’s strikes. Check it out at: http://prmadefresh.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/lecturers-strike-again/

    1. Thanks for the link, Toni! I’m always interested in other people’s opinion of this issue.

      I do agree with you: the strikes and boycott are making the lecturers look bad, and not the universities. I’m always shocked at how bad universities seem to be treating their employees.

  2. I think the money has to be spent on both, you can’t have one without the other. Eventually the university will have to expand and therefore are able to help more students. However, there must be a way they can do this without taking advantage of the staff.

  3. So, this money is a third again of that spent on improvements to the campus over the last half decade – and some of it seems pretty good. Seems to be a lot of completely unnecessary design features though. Like the “multifunctional suspended ‘pod’ with a viewing platform” in the atrium, or the state of the art social and exhibition spaces. I can see why things like that might make people wonder if it’s the image or the content that’s more important to the university.
    I’m undecided on whether the new building is a good thing or not. Personally, I lean more towards the view that maybe some of the money might have been better used to further enhance existing facilities than on the design features enthusiastically advertised in the link.

    The strike though… I can see where the anger comes from. They’re offered a paltry pay rise to counter the increasing costs of living while higher-ranking employees are enjoying their rather comfortable 5% raise – granted without any difficulties at all. The UCEA threatening pay sanctions and trying to make the UCU out to be unreasonable rather than actually sitting down and trying to reach an agreement both parties can live with isn’t helping anything either.
    It’s just sad that students are the ones trapped in the middle and are likely to suffer through the actions of both the UCU and UCEA who both seem to forget how much this affects them all.

    1. Thank you for commenting. I do agree with you that the terms used on the Solent page are a bit over the top, and are obviously there so people can gawk at how great the new building will be.

      It seems to me though, that your comment implies you believe that the money shouldn’t actually go towards the lecturers, but to further increase the facilities. However, this makes me wonder if constantly improve facilities could be used as an attempt to get read of actual lecturers and be instead taught by some new tech. What do you think?

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