University of Edinburgh students demand lecture strike compensation
Nearly 2,000 people have signed online petitions calling on the university to reimburse tuition fee-paying students for the contact time they expect to lose as a result of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) led action.
Staff at over 60 UK universities, including Edinburgh, begin their strike on Thursday in a row over changes to their pension scheme.
Petitioners claim the strike, which will last for four weeks, accounts for over ten per cent of the academic year.
History of Art student Sonny Ruggiero, 26, from California, said the strike had affected her programme “immensely”.
She said: “If the strike were to continue through the dates proposed, after today I will not have any seminars until the last week of the semester.
“I would definitely like to be reimbursed for the time lost. I 100 per cent support the strike, but I do also believe that reparations should be made by the university for the teaching we will not be given.”
Scottish students are entitled to have their tuition fees paid for by the Scottish government, but those from the rest of the UK must pay £9,000 per academic year.
Students from outside the EU are required to pay in excess of £16,000 depending on the course.
Last month, the Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) said they would be “supporting those who are involved in the UCU strike”.
But Bobi Archer, EUSA Vice President for Education, said they were “taking the impact on students very seriously”.
She said: “The Students’ Association are meeting with the university on a weekly basis to advocate on students’ behalf such that the strike action does not have a serious negative impact on their academic standing.”
A university spokesperson said deadlines could be extended, adding: “At this stage we are focussing on mitigating the impact of any action on our students. So if activities are cancelled, the university will make every reasonable effort to mitigate the impact, whether that is delivering content through alternative means or attempting to recover the lost activity at a later date.”