The higher education ombudsman or England and Wales has told a group of British universities to pay compensation for the loss of teaching hours after lasts years UCU strikes. The ombudsman ordered the pay-outs worth hundreds of pounds each over after students complained of missed seminars, lectures and stress caused by missing teachers during a crucial time of the year. After 14 days of strikes over 65 universities, more than 80 complaints have been received by The Office of the Independent Adjudicator. The report on the complaints revealed 19 cases that have been concluded and 9 upheld decisions.
Felecity Mitchel, the independent adjudicator said, “Some providers have been better than others at finding ways to make up for the learning students have missed out on. Some providers have made lecture recordings, podcasts, and additional online materials available to students, or allowed them to sit in on other classes. Others have done nothing, and we don’t think that’s fair.
“We have made recommendations in a number of cases for partial refunds of tuition fees and payments for distress and inconvenience where we have decided the student has not been treated fairly.”
Sarah Liddell, head of the leadership office at the OIA continued, “We have used a notional value of 50 per cent of the value of the teaching hours as a starting point for working out how much refund to recommend." This may constitute a larger pay-out to the 1 million students who were affected by the strikes. In total, an estimated 575,000 teaching hours were lost.
Students may bring a complaint to the OIA after filling a complaint to the University.