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Industrial action - CS021904

The student was in the second year of an undergraduate programme at the time of the industrial action. The student complained to the University that it had broken its promise to provide them with contact hours and a continuous, reliable system for learning, and that their learning and grades were affected.

The University said that to mitigate the effects of the industrial action on the student it had:

  • Put in place additional teaching, combined lectures and seminars to ensure that material was covered in later weeks, and offered students the opportunity to attend different seminar groups;
  • Scheduled additional tutorials and drop in sessions for students, encouraged students to use office hours to see their tutors to discuss any content that was missed, and offered study support sessions with mentors and tutors;
  • Provided additional online material, including videoed lectures;
  • Identified subjects that were not taught and removed them from assessment;
  • Changed the format of assessments and extended an assessment submission date;
  • Provided details of how to access videos that had been due to be screened in lecture theatres; and
  • Rescheduled a visit.

The University nevertheless had accepted that the industrial action may have caused distress and inconvenience to students. It had therefore set up an ex gratia fund. The University considered the student’s complaint and offered an ex gratia payment of £130. 

The student did not accept the offer and complained to us.

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 student could have made an academic appeal if they believed their grades had been affected.

We suggested that the University should repeat its offer of £130 to the student.