UCL are putting lecturers’ wages docked during strike into a student fund

They also guarantee you won’t be assessed on material missed by the strikes, and Tier 4 visas will be unaffected


Between 25th November and 5th December this year, UCU members are striking for the second time in two years over pensions and pay inequality. A lot of UCL staff are striking in support of the cause, which means a lot of UCL students are upset about the fact they're still paying tuition fees for classes they won't receive.

Back in early 2018, when students in third year and beyond will no doubt remember the five week period of industrial action, most universities refused to refund students, including UCL. This year, things might be different.

The university published a strike FAQs page on their website last week, which breifly explains the reasons behind the strike, its scope and how students can expect the industrial action to affect them.

Interestingly, it also explains that staff will be docked 1/365th of their salary for each day that they are striking. They write that 'This money will be put into a Learning Opportunities Fund which we will use to support students who have missed teaching or learning due to the industrial action. We anticipate this being in January 2020.'

'Once we have a sense of the impact of this action, a Learning Opportunities Fund will be established from which you can apply for funds to support your learning. We anticipate this being in January 2020.'

It's not yet clear what the Learning Opportunities Fund will look like, or what the process for withdrawing money from it will be. It does, at least, entertain the possibility of some sort of financial return for students affected.

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On the academic front, the University have unambiguously stated that any in-class tests or assessments not rescheduled to take place outside of the strike dates will be discounted from the overall module mark. They also 'guarantee that you will not be assessed on academic content which has not been properly covered due to industrial action.'

The attendance policy is essentially suspended during the strikes, regardless of whether your classes are running or not. This means students who do not wish to cross the picket line to attend classes unaffected by the industrial action will not see their attendance mark drop.

For students studying on Tier 4 visas, UCL has stated 'you will not be penalised if you are unable to attend classes that have been cancelled due to the strike action.'

If you have questions that are still unanswered, you should contact your own department in the first instance. If they're unable to help, email [email protected]

If national negotiations move forwards, it's possible that strike action could be resolved early. Based on the precedent of February 2018, however, this does not look overly likely.