‘We’re just helpless victims’: We asked Cardiff students about the strikes
Third years are in diss-stress, no but seriously they are
The strikes are set to take place for another week and more and more students are voicing their opinions and the effect it is having on their studies. The Cardiff Tab spoke to Cardiff students to find out what they really think about the ongoing strikes.
Lauren, a third year English Literature and History student said: “I’ve had strikes every term, every year of my degree and it’s an actual joke. I’ve bought books for courses and then they don’t get taught. The uni needs to do more to stop the disruption of students.”
Some students doing their dissertations have been left feeling stressed, abandoned and lost as they need support and guidance from lecturers.
Ursula, a third year English Literature and History student said: “I feel incredibly frustrated with the strike action currently being undertaken. It is not the reasons as to why lecturers are striking that annoy me but the lack of communication and support being offered by the university.
“I’m in my third year, I have 3 essays and a dissertation to write and for the next 4 weeks I will receive next to no contact or guidance from any of my lecturers…”
The lack of rescheduling and re-adjusting courses has been another issue that has angered students.
A second year Medic student said “I do a class called Case, 10 hours every 2 weeks, no facilitator because some are striking so no one is allowed to have teaching because it’s ‘unfair’. I have to write a literature review (summative) and am meant to get a 3 hour tutorial on it but the tutorial got cancelled, yet I still have to write the review with no guidance.”
The lecturers have a right not to share whether or not they will be striking prior to the industrial action, but this has proven to be even more inconvenient to students, especially those who live away from campus. Another second year Medic said “we don’t get told who is and who isn’t striking, so we go to Heath and the lecturers might not even show up.”
Many students feel they are not being considered in the disruption. Kasvi, a first year Journalism, Media and English Lit student said:
“I feel that even though the reasons behind the strike are genuine, it is unfair towards the students. Especially international students who pay double the fee as usual. I wish they would refund a considerable amount of our fee. I’ve been told that students are coming together across the UK to take action regarding this but it’s harder for international students since they don’t have lawyers here or family to support them through it (both financially and emotionally).
“I feel very strongly about this and not being able to do much about it makes me feel disappointed.”
Paige, a first year Criminology and Social Policy students said the concerns about unfair treatment to students. She said: “Cardiff is one of the most common universities to experience strikes. As a first year who has just settled into the university environment having the strikes is not just disruptive in regards to education and also simple day-to-day.
“I have two modules this term based upon group work, and due to the four week strikes, I am so behind. Equality is extremely important within the workplace and to strive for better conditions is totally understandable. However, the measures in which the union aim to make these positive changes should consider the consequences on the students.”
Some students have turned their anger on the actual strikers rather than universities, with a first year Human Geography student saying: “I’m more angry at the strikers/UCU than I am at the universities at this point… I want to clarify that I support the reasoning for striking but no longer the method…
“It’s so ridiculous that I believe the strikers are selfish and without much care for students anymore. I read a quote on The Tab that a UCU leader said these strikes will affect universities and students even more – ‘students’ being the keyword, as if we’re some target, but in fact, we’re just helpless victims.”
While the strikes continue to distress students, there is positive news with Cardiff University recently stating that the money saved from the salaries of staff striking will be used to support students. The Vice-Chancellor also stated that it is a top priority to ensure students can still graduate.