‘It will disrupt our learning once again’: How students really feel about the upcoming December strikes

‘It’s not fair on students who have missed out on nearly three years of uni experience’

Uni of and Sheffield Hallam are joining 56 other universities across the country in a three day strike action from Wednesday 1 December to Friday 3 December. 

Both universities will be striking over pensions and Uni of will also be protesting against pay and working conditions. For Uni of, this will be the fourth year in a row of striking.

The Sheffield Tab spoke to students to see how they really felt about the upcoming December strikes.

Harry, Politics student @ Uni of

Harry says he supports the strikes as university staff have been treated “just as bad as the students”, by the management team.

He added: “Students need to stand in solidarity with university staff against our common enemy of the careless university management.” He suggests that the Student’s Union should take a “radical position” to challenge the university management. 

Lauren, English Literature @ Hallam

Lauren believes striking isn’t fair on students because the last two years of teaching have been so disruptive because of Covid-19.

She said:”I understand why they [lecturers] are doing it, but it’s not fair on students who have missed out on nearly three years of a proper uni experience.”

In relation to the class of 2019, who were hit with both strikes and Covid-19, Lauren said: “Given the circumstances, I don’t think it’s fair at all.”

Zac, Politics and Sociology student @ Hallam

Zac is in favour of the strikes. He said: “One quarter of staff at Hallam are on low paid, zero hour contracts’ and 50 per cernt are showing signs of depression.

“It’s frustrating that we are losing out on teaching time, but the sooner the student’s support the strike, the sooner lecturers will win and the sooner we can get back to learning.”

Alexandra, Sociology student @ Uni of

Alexandra is in favour of the three day strike action.

She said: “It isn’t a holiday for lecturers. I don’t think it’s right that in 2021, and at such institutions who pride themselves on inclusion, such as Sheffield Universities do – lecturers are subjected to pay gaps based on gender, race or whether they have a disability.”

Steph, English Language student @Hallam

Steph said: “With the disruptive couple of years we have had and action probably not going to be taken until 2023 at the earliest, I believe this year they [strikes] are unnecessary and unfair on students as it will disrupt our university learning once again.”

Joe, Photography student @ Hallam

Joe expressed that he thinks students should show solidarity towards the strike action because, “Complaining about the strike action is exactly what the higher people want, and it will discourage strike action in the future.”

However, he added that he understands why striking is ‘frustrating’ for students.

Charlotte, Fine Art student @ Hallam

Charlotte is “so over striking” and she feels “hopeless” and is “so far gone” after the strikes within her first year, Covid-19 and now further strike action.

For more information on the upcoming strikes, read The Sheffield Tab’s latest article or visit the UCU website.

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