Petition made by RHUL seeking strike compensation reaches 2000 signatures

Strikes impact the university for the second time this academic year

A petition to be compensated up to a thousand pounds for education lost due to the strikes has received nearly 2,000 signatures since its creation.

The petition, created by RHUL student Charlotte Geer, was made after the announcement of a second bout of strikes to take place during this academic year. This has caused a disturbance amongst students once again at Royal Holloway, as well as other UK unis affected.

The petition calls out RHUL for its lack of apology to the students affected, as well as highlighting Paul Layzell’s (Principal of Royal Holloway) answer to the strike which was to push back final year exams a week. The petition states: “This is not the academic or monetary compensation we want or have asked for.”

A student, when asked about the recent events, said: “Pushing third year exams back by a week is not exactly compensation… what about the petition we are all signing to be compensated due to the missing lectures? talk to us about that Paul.” Another concerned student also said online: “What difference does it make pushing them back? We aren’t exactly gonna get taught longer even if they get pushed I assume? So there’s no need. If anything they should just make exams shorter etc. They can’t push exam season just like that, final years have plans after exam season…”

There have been multiple reactions to the petition and the overall desire for compensation for compensation. Comments under the petition on Facebook are mixed. One comment states “Drink that marketisation kool aid – maybe support your lecturers rather than whining about lost fees bc education isnt a commodity?”, whilst another says “We had the same two years ago, nothing came of it then and I highly doubt anything will come of it now. Paul Layzell/college upper management are tightarses about this and basically dismiss all complaints out of hand.”

The twitter account ‘RHUL Students Support the Strikes’ shared their thoughts on compensation for strikes.

The decision to push final year exams back a week comes as part of Paul Layzell’s recent efforts to diffuse the anger felt by students around the strikes. In his recent newsletter sent out to all students, he discussed the strikes and what the RHUL’s immediate solution would be. The email states that third year students will have their exams pushed back a week in the third term in order to allow for more revision time in preparation for the exam season.

The statement that the push back will allow “additional revision time and the opportunity for schools and departments to offer additional exam preparation activities” is contradicted however a few paragraphs above, where Layzell goes on to state that those striking are not entitled “to replace lost teaching”.

Despite Layzell’s reference of ‘progress’ within the email and a link provided to the letter sent to fellow colleagues, strike action is still ongoing and there has been no news that it will be stopped in the next couple of days or even weeks.

The petition and the decision to push back exam dates is simply a reaction to the ongoing strikes  by the UCU, being held in the hope for change. The strike currently includes the dates: 24th-26th February, 2nd-5th March, 9th-13th March, 19th-20th March. One of the reasons RHUL lecturers are striking is due to the gender pay gap at the University. The Royal Holloway UCU Twitter page provides lots of helpful information and an insight into the strikes.

You can sign the petition here.

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