‘We could potentially fail’: London students on the academic impact of strikes

Many are calling to be refunded for a continuously disrupted education


But behind the picket lines and heated debates on workplace issues, students are stumbling through modules while battling Covid disruptions and loosing what some estimated as an entire month of teaching due to strikes this year.

The London Tab spoke to some students to find out how their studies have been impacted by the strikes.

What did we pay for?

In response, a spokesperson for LSE told The London Tab:  “One of the biggest challenges for LSE within this strike action is the national nature of the topics under discussion.

“Pay and pensions are negotiated at a national level, and the national pay bargaining process alone involves 146 institutions across the UK. While we are actively engaging with representative bodies on a national level and will continue to do so, we are not able to take immediate decisions to bring these matters to a close as an individual higher education institution.

“We understand that our students may have some concerns about how this could impact their studies and, to support our community throughout this time, we are providing comprehensive information, resources and guidance,” they said. 

They also urged students to find more information about the supports available here.

Losing the motivation

But LSE students aren’t the only ones feeling robbed of their money. An English student at QMUL said to us: “I didn’t get a full first year, second year was online, and I’ve just had a two-week strike in my final year.

“Uni is very much a myth and I want my money back!”

“We are very concerned for our students who have already faced disruption as a result of the pandemic and previous sector-wide industrial action by staff in 2018, 2019 and 2020. We have been clear from the outset that our first priority as a university is to protect our students’ education and experience above all other activities which are carried out.

“When staff are not physically striking, we are asking them to prioritise all educational activities, and to stop other activities, so that our students are fully supported. So far, industrial action has been focused on a very small number of areas within the university and all planned educational activities affected by industrial action have currently been made up or scheduled to be made up.”

Even though some student did argue to us that “it’s not like the strike will massively ‘devalue’ our degrees,” most students we spoke to feel frustrated that their education and money are caught in the middle of something they did not have in mind when clicking that UCAS accept button.

As waves of strikes keep coming with negotiations seemingly going nowhere, we can only hope that everyone is offered the academic and emotional support they need to get through these disruptions.

If you are experiencing stress or need academic support, your department or the student support and wellbeing team at your uni should be able to help. If not, other resources include Anxiety UK and Mind.

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