A petition demanding compensation for students affected by the upcoming strikes has been set up

It was sent to students by email and has already received over 300 signatures

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A group of students at The University of Sheffield have defied widespread calls to stand with lecturers striking, demanding compensation for the contact hours they will miss.

The petition, led by English Literature student Sam Dickinson, calls for £300 of compensation for students who could miss out on two weeks of lectures if the university's 1,300 UCU members go ahead and strike over the course of four weeks, set to begin next Thursday.

It comes as many students have come out in support of the lecturers, including Sheffield Students Union voting unanimously to back the industrial action last December.

Set up only today, the "Compensate Students for Strike Action" petition has been sent to all students by their university email and in four hours it has received more than 350 signatories.

The students write: "We judge this to be a fair share of the £9000 annual tuition fee that we already pay to this university that we will lose in the anticipated lecture cancellations.

"Although we must support the right for lecturers to strike, and recognise that strike action will lead to better conditions for students and staff combined, our term-time teaching only consists of roughly 25 weeks a year. As consumers, we must protest against losing what we pay so much for."

But in other events, today another student group, "Save Staff Pensions Sheffield", have created a Facebook event for a rally in support of the lecturers, citing Sheffield Students Union's support of the strike last December.

As the description reads: "We encourage students not to cross picket lines, extend support to striking staff members via email, show support by attending 'teach outs' held by university staff, signing our open letter and attending this rally."

Last week a separate petition launched by the SU calling for Vice-Chancellor Keith Burnett to enter into fresh negotiations and avert the strikes received over 500 signatures in three days.

The University's Vice-President for Education, Professor Wyn Morgan, also emailed all students last week attempting to reassure students that he is working "to ensure that the impact of this action on your studies is minimal."