Unis told to pay students over £1,000 compensation for lecturer strikes
One student got £1,154 back
Universities have been ordered to pay students compensation for detriments to their education during last year's lecturer strikes.
A range of student cases are now receiving hundreds and even thousands of pounds in compensation, with one student receiving £1,154. Many of these complaints were in relation to time missed out of lectures and seminars, or suffering distress from their university's response.
Compensation has been primarily based on the fees students paid on the 14 days of strike action when lecturers refused to teach, supervise or assess work.
The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) have said they have received more than 80 individual complaints so far.
A student who was in third year at the time of the strikes complained to their university that lectures and tutorial support were withdrawn by the teaching staff over several weeks. They requested a partial refund of tuition fees, but the complaint was not upheld by the university due to the student not being able to show that they had suffered a direct loss of teaching, or that it had affected their ability to achieve the intended learning outcomes.
After complaining directly to the OIA, the student was able to prove that around 13 per cent of the total teaching sessions were not delivered or replaced. In recognition of this, the university offered to pay the student £300 to settle their complaint.
In another case, a university has been ordered to give a tuition fee refund worth £1,154 to a student on a part-time course who said they had lost earnings because they had taken time off work to attend lectures and seminars that were cancelled during the strike.
Felicity Mitchell, an independent adjudicator for OIA stated: "Some providers have been better than others at finding ways to make up for the learning students have missed out on.
"Some providers have made lecture recordings, podcasts, and additional online materials available to students, or allowed them to sit in on other classes.
"Others have done nothing, and we don’t think that's fair.
"We have made recommendations in a number of cases for partial refunds of tuition fees and payments for distress and inconvenience where we have decided the student has not been treated fairly."