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Industrial action - CS021901

The student was on a one-year MA programme at the time of the industrial action. They complained to the University about the impact of the industrial action on their studies and asked for a refund of fees.

They said that cancelled lessons had not been rearranged; there was a lack of communication; and there was a failure to mitigate low marks.

The University explained that, to mitigate the impact of industrial action on the student, it had:

  • Made amendments to the assessment method, allowing students to give shorter presentations or choose not to present at all;
  • Offered students different options for weighting the elements of assessment for the affected modules, so that they could benefit from the best mark;
  • Restructured the content of a module;
  • Rescheduled some sessions;
  • Offered extra feedback sessions; and
  • Offered additional office hours on non-strike days.

The University also announced to all students that it would be using the deducted strike pay to waive the fee for graduation hire, around £50 per student, and to invest in supporting student well-being.

The student complained to us asking for a refund of fees for the four weeks’ tuition affected by the industrial action. They did not explain why they thought the measures put in place by the University were inadequate. The student said that because they were on a one-year programme they would not benefit from the investment in supporting student well-being.

Outcome: Not Justified

We decided that the University had demonstrated that it had tried to minimise disruption for the student and to put things right. The University had recognised the academic impact and the missed learning opportunities and had taken steps to remedy both.  

The focus of our review was whether the University had taken appropriate steps to offset the impact that the strike action had on the student. We were satisfied that it had. It was not for us to comment on the University’s decision to invest the deducted strike pay in supporting student well-being.