News

Exclusive: 87% of law students think they should be compensated for this week’s university strike action

By on
36

Interestingly, law lecturers seem to agree with them

Most students think those impacted by upcoming strikes in 61 universities should have their tuition fees reimbursed, Legal Cheek can reveal.

Of the 2,302 asked if students affected by the industrial action should be compensated, a whopping 2,009, 87%, voted for yes. This means 293, 13%, said no. One of the law students who has thrown their weight behind this majority vote tells us:

“We pay specific fees for face to face teaching and are entitled to receive that. As with any service, if you are not happy or have any concerns, you expect to receive a refund or a discount. Thus, this should be the case when teachers are striking.”

Another says: “The basis of university education is solely reliant on the exchange of money for education, and the strikes are flouting this basic principle which all university students rely upon for their success in higher education.”

The likes of University of Liverpool student Ying Tang are leading the campaign for tuition fee reimbursement. Tang, a first year studying law, thinks it’s “fair” Liverpool deducts £1,079 from its students’ fees “for the loss of 14 days of our education”. She has petitioned her university to do just that, and has received more than 6,000 signatures in support.

But it’s not just students waving the ‘reimburse fees’ flag — law academics have also rallied behind the movement. We don’t doubt this is at least in part a show of solidarity with students, but it’s worth mentioning a number of academics have also pointed to the impact of student-led petitions on the lecturers’ cause.

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

The 14 days of strike action, which will begin this week and continue into March, is in relation to academics’ pensions. The University and College Union (UCU) reckons proposed changes will leave lecturers’ £10,000 per year worse off.

“I can see students’ point about reimbursement of fees,” Steve Peers, an EU law professor from the University of Essex, tells Legal Cheek. “Also from the academics’ point of view this would put further pressure on university administrations.” Hannah Quirk, a criminal law lecturer, echoes this sentiment when she says the student movement “might also help to focus the universities’ attention on the issue and hopefully resolve the dispute before the strike”.

Also speaking to Legal Cheek was Kevin Crosby, a law lecturer from Newcastle University. He raises an issue that goes to the heart of the strike action and students’ response to it: the consumerisation of education.

With the arrival of £9,000 tuition fees came a changed relationship between academics and students. Some of the latter now perceive themselves as mere customers: ‘I’m paying money, so I should get something in return’. Just look at our two comments from anonymous law students above, which include words like “service”, “refund”, “entitled to receive” and “exchange of money” — not what you’d typically associate with the provision of education.

Crosby continues:

“This has not always been a very helpful development, but in this case it could be helpful that this is how many students now see themselves. The UCU and the NUS are both asking Universities UK to return to the negotiating table in order to make sure the strikes do not have to go ahead, but unfortunately there does not seem to have been much movement from the employers. My hope is that ‘consumer’ pressure coming from our students might be enough to encourage Universities UK to be more willing to negotiate on the proposed cuts to academics’ pensions.”

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

36 Comments

Anonymous

Exclusive: 100% of BPTC students at sham private equity owned businesses think they should be compensated.

Oh. Wait. We can’t gave that headline. BPP are stealing from students and using those funds to sponsor Legal Cheek events.

(27)(0)

Anonymous

If/when BSB finally abolish the BPTC, Legal Cheek will feel the pinch as BPP coffers run dry.

£19k fees a course that serves no purpose whatsoever is funding Legal Cheek activities. Now that is something I would be interested in reading about

(4)(0)

Anonymous

How do Legal Cheek feel about money taken from ripped off students pockets going to funding their events?

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Note the distinct lack of articles on Legal Cheek looking in to how these sham private equity firms are ripping off students for a course that by almost unanimous consensus is poorly taught by failed barristers and completely irrelevant to the bar. All for £19k.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

It’s only a matter of time before senior practitioners who will have sat the BPTC themselves and know what a pile of sh1te it is take control of routes into the profession and abolish it or restrict it to those with pupillage offers.

The BPTC is a waste of money and resources. It looks junior tenants for their rent payments via “scholarships” which pay the fees for BPTC providers.

Those BPTX contracts with private equity firms are not worth the paper they are written on. It’s only a matter of time. There will be a reckoning. Everyone under 40 is hopping mad about it.

This post has been moderated because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Well no, because the regulators, BSB, will always be non-barristers. And in the pockets of private equity firms.

Even today all barristers I’ve come across recognise the BPTC is completely useless and a huge waste of money. But the Bar Council and Inns have no power. The BSB is run by a bunch of paperpushers without the foggiest clue.

(1)(0)

NQ

I personally think I should receive 90% compensation for my whole law degree. I could easily find someone who would read of the lecture slides and would gladly do it for a minimum wage.

(14)(1)

Anonymous

hahahaaaa so true!! reading slides (badly)…..maybe they can be replaced by robots in the future…..or the amazon thing Alexa or Cortana. …or whatever the new fad is….

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Everyone supports workers rights until thry have to pay for them.

(12)(0)

Anonymous

Yep, but when train company workers strike, the train company often ends up paying £1000s to passengers whose train arrived at least 15 minutes late. No difference here, imo

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Time to privatise universities!

(0)(2)

Corbyn. Symphathiser

I support striking workers even when I’m inconvenienced. That’s what solidarity is for.

(7)(2)

Anonymous

Well the edge of the cliff is over there

(0)(2)

Corbyn. Symphathiser

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(1)

FC

there’s no magic money tree

(2)(2)

Anonymous

re magic money tree – 350million a week to the EU? Seriously?

Can we get some affordable housing / help the homeless? / improve hospitals/ improve schools / better uni standards….

Nothing wrong with migrant labour – people from outside the EU / the commonwealth (to use an antiquated term) came and worked hard and managed with no state benefits……..paying an EU migrant a raft of benefits including housing in the private sector / remittances to children and family back home / consumption of state benefits they haven’t paid into /whilst they do a so – called job “no one wants to do” is a false economy…..

(2)(3)

Anonymous

You can’t get “affordable” housing when net migration is in the hundreds of thousands…

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Why nobody likes law students pt. 3/10,539

(6)(1)

Anonymous

The best solution would be for students to be compensated and the money taken from strikers’ salaries.

It’s good to see that academics agree that students should not be disadvantaged financially. And since the reason for the loss is obvious the remedy should fall on those causing it.

(5)(7)

Anonymous

The strikers will already be losing their pay on strike days.

Those striking workers do not need to directly compensate students.
It’s up to the universities to decide what they do with the windfall they receive from not having to pay striking workers.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

It’s not a windfall. It’s money that hasn’t been earned and therefore doesn’t need to be paid. That just reflects what the employers are and are not contractually liable for towards the staff.

Reimbursing the students is – or should be – a matter of compensation by the person causing the loss. There’s no contract between the students and the staff, so the students should be able to recover in a conspiracy action.

Yes, I know that organised labour has protections against tort actions for combination. It just seems increasingly unsustainable nowadays.

(6)(3)

Anonymous

The majority of the value lies in the receipt of the degree certificate at the end of the course. Unless it can be shown that missing out on lectures caused a student to suffer in their exams there is probably not a great deal of actual loss suffered. It certainly isn’t as simple as students working out that X/Y weeks have been affected and demanding a refund in respect of those weeks.

(12)(0)

Anonymous

Also, paying lecturers is not universities’ only expense — tuition money goes towards maintaining buildings, stocking libraries, providing IT services and, sadly, providing senior administrators with bloated salaries.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Losing out on a few lectures isn’t so bad. It’s losing out on seminars/tutorials/supervision meetings that is the killer

(1)(1)

Anonymous

I don’t know what it’s like at other unis/BPP/ULaw, but here at Oxford we’ve been told that, whilst lectures may be cancelled due to striking, tutorials and any college-arranged teaching are to remain unaffected.

(5)(10)

Anonymous

You’ll go far with name dropping like that! Just make sure to also say that you ‘read’ law rather than studied it, and refer to things like Michaelmas and you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

(5)(5)

Anonymous

Name dropping was solely because there’s an administrative separation between tutorials and lectures, and I didn’t know if the same applied elsewhere.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

‘Law’? You mean Jurisprudence, right?

(5)(2)

Hmm.

‘bullshitprudance’.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

This is useful to know, thanks. Ultimately, this is what the Oxbridge kids are paying for (tutorial/supervision extras, etc.) so I’m glad this isn’t being affected for you. Ignore the idiots’ chippy comments and downward-thumbs.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

In fairness, I wouldn’t complain if they were affected. Uni staff are perfectly justified in striking in my opinion, and I wouldn’t begrudge any that did. They’re all helpful enough that they’d arrange catch-up tutorials anyway, if they did opt to strike during some.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)

Corbyn. Symphathiser

I’m stunned that Jones Day Partner hasn’t popped up to say “up the workers”.

(1)(1)

Jones Day Partner

up the workers

(5)(0)

Hmm.

I received a high 1st at a RG University while barely attending any lectures (chose to live in London while studying). This just shows how ‘useful’ the lectures are.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I was hoping to see some legal facts regarding this situation – what does the law actually say regarding some form of compensation ?

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

Related Stories