‘The university did not do enough’: Petition launched for all Cardiff students to get compensation

The petition comes after the revelation that only 200 students were collectively paid £150k

After The Cardiff Tab revealed that Cardiff university compensated 232 students for disruption caused by the strikes, students were shocked by the news that a complaints procedure had been in place, and particularly upset that some students, and not others, received hundreds of pounds in compensation .

As a result, Cardiff student Alexia has started a petition for the University to provide ‘goodwill’ gestures of compensation to all students.

Alexia, a second year French and Law student, told The Cardiff Tab: “I started the petition because I felt the situation had been badly handled and was unfair. I was frustrated at the response to my complaint and my lack of progress so I started this petition in order to raise publicity for this issue many students are unaware of.”

Another student, Noah, wrote on the petition about complaints made towards Industrial Action Complaint Team of the University, the OIA, the Student Union, and the Vice Chancellor of the University, none of which have been successful. He said that they have been “ignored and fobbed off by each and every one’.

Alexia continued to tell The Cardiff Tab: “I am now very unlikely to be successful in my complaint, and was blamed for not adhering to the deadline” despite being “amongst 99% of students who didn’t get any money back”.

Alexia added: “This number is so high that I think it is evident that the university did not do enough to highlight the procedure.”

The university have previously commented on criticisms that the complaints procedure was ‘hidden’, saying they “do not accept that our complaints procedure was hidden”, as “the relevant information, including the closing date, was made available via our student intranet and publicised to all students via Student News”.

When we asked Alexia what her ideal outcome from this petition would be, she said: “I would like the university to have been more understanding of the situation during a time many of us found challenging with the virus and to not have put an arbitrary time limit on a scheme which was not well publicised.”

“Finally I would like this issue to be widely publicised by the student union so more students are aware of this issue”.

A Cardiff University spokesperson tells The Cardiff Tab that: “We do not accept that students have been “ignored” and “fobbed off”. We take all complaints extremely seriously. Any complaint is considered in accordance with our Student Complaints Procedure and a detailed response provided.”

They further state: “some students had little, if any, disruption to their studies. As a result, we do not accept that every student is entitled to a payment of goodwill.”

“However, for some students we recognised that teaching and learning was impacted. That’s why we worked with our academic schools and colleagues to make suitable adjustments to ensure those students were able to graduate or progress to the next stage of their programme.  Any student who was still dissatisfied, was able to raise a complaint through our bespoke complaints procedure.

“As a result of this procedure, a number of financial gestures of goodwill were made in acknowledgement of their learning and teaching being impacted during the industrial action and there was insufficient action taken to offset the impact that the industrial action had on their learning opportunities. It was not a compensation procedure that the petition implies.”

“The procedure allowed students to submit complaints relating to industrial action until 28 days after the end of the academic year, meaning the deadline to submit a complaint was 10th July 2020. The date was widely advertised.”

“The Office for the Independent Adjudicator, an independent body set up to review student complaints about higher education providers in England and Wales, has confirmed that they consider it is reasonable for universities to have deadlines for the submission of complaints.”

“We believe we have been open, fair and transparent throughout this process and, as a result, we have no plans to consider any further complaints relating to these periods of industrial action.”

The petition currently has almost 150 student signatures, and you can sign the petition here.

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