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UCL student petition for strike refunds skyrockets

More than 1600 students have signed the petition in under a week

A petition has been launched on behalf of UCL students with the purpose of eliminating the cap of £250 per student currently offered by the Learning Opportunity Fund.

With the UCU declaring more strikes from February to March, students are raging about being by far the most affected in the conflict between Universities and their staff. The majority of the student body is supportive of the strike, but also feel increasingly alienated by university administrations, whose unwillingness to meet the demands of the UCU leaves students with barely half of the education they paid for, possible damages to graduate prospects, and financial earnings.

Most feel unhappy with the lack of compensation for this impediment to their students, and the petition proposes compensation valuing 14% of the total yearly fees paid by a student.

The main legal argument behind the claims of the petion lies in the following section of the UCL- Student Relationship Terms and Conditions: "Occasionally UCL may need to make changes to or cancel part of or an entire Programme due to circumstances that are beyond its reasonable control".

Since this is not the first wave of strikes this academic year, with Term one suffering eight days of class disruption based on the same grievances that were failed to be met, it can safely be argued that this is not a circumstance beyond UCL's reasonable control.

The message has clearly resonated with UCL students who relentlessly shared the campaign on social media, the petion thus amassing more than 1500 signatures in just a day, with 2000 signatures in total at the time this article was written.

'I am signing because student fees mean that education is now a commodity which the university undertakes to deliver against payment. The actual deliverers of education are badly paid and treated. If a purchaser does not receive what they pay for, they deserve compensation' one student that signed the petition said.

Another UCL student similarly argues: 'A university is not a factory for the production of bodies with degrees. Academia has been decreased to the level of a supermarket pop-in. Teachers have the right to strike, and we have the right to get a refund'.

The target is 2500 but, based on how fast the campaign is growing, it is expected to accumulate many more in the upcoming weeks, indicating, therefore, the need for UCL to concurrently address the injustices done to its two main pillars of success: the students and the academia.

To vote for the UCL Student Compensation for Strikes petition, click here.

A UCL spokesperson said: “During this period of industrial action we recognise some teaching time will be disrupted, but please be assured we are committed to ensuring UCL students are not disadvantaged and every effort is being be made to recover any lost learning.

“Furthermore, we guarantee students will not be assessed on academic content which has not been properly covered during this period, and all students will be able to complete their studies and graduate on time.

“In April, we will reopen the Learning Opportunities Fund, which will enable students affected by the strike, to apply for money to buy extra resources to help with their learning, such as text books, e-resources or online courses.

“UCL is committed to supporting student life during this time. We ask students with any questions about the industrial action and any impact on their studies to contact their department or email [email protected]