A uni spent £240k on Amazon vouchers to try and buy off students affected by strikes

Final year students got given a £50 voucher to make up for the disruption

A uni spent £240,000 on Amazon vouchers to give to students affected by the strikes, in a move branded a “blatant attempt to buy off students”.

Kent gave £50 vouchers to 5,000 final years impacted by 2018 industrial action, calling it “a one-off gesture of goodwill”. First and second years were not offered vouchers.

However, the uni saved a total of £550,000 in withheld staff wages during the strikes.

The move was not received well by the union who arranged the strikes. Kent UCU told Kent Online: “The majority of students did not view the vouchers at all favourably and felt it was an insult to them.

“It seemed like a blatant attempt to buy off students following UCU’s industrial action.”

The University of Kent told Kent Online: “In 2018, we sent final year students a £50 Amazon voucher as a one-off gesture of goodwill following industrial action by a number of academic staff. The remainder of the salary savings from striking staff during this period was directed at student-focused activities and services as agreed with Kent Union.

“Final year students received these vouchers as they were the year most disrupted by the industrial action.”

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