Bristol

University lecturers' strikes: Students on how it affects them

UCU members on strike Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Staff at 60 universities across the UK are taking part in an eight-day walkout

Thousands of university lecturers have gone on strike across the UK.

Members of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) are taking action in a row over pay, working conditions and pension cuts.

The strikes will affect almost half of all UK universities.

Staff at 60 universities are taking part in an eight-day walkout,

BBC News has spoken to several students affected by the strike at the University of Bristol to get their views on their lecturers' actions.

Image caption Soundraya Ravi a is law postgraduate at the University of Bristol

"It's good they're standing up for what they want and what they believe in but it's disruptive when it comes to our studies," said law postgraduate Soundraya Ravi, 23.

"I had a seminar this afternoon that I was looking forward to and obviously we won't get that time back."

Image caption Undergraduate student Danny Shaw said any improvements to lecturers' conditions would have a knock-on impact on students

Danny Shaw, 20, from Manchester, who is at Bristol studying English, said he was supporting the striking lecturers.

"I think it's an excellent way to show their annoyance and anger at unfair working conditions, which I think have an undoubtedly knock-on effect for students," he said.

"I think a lot of students might complain they're missing lectures - and they have essay deadlines coming up - but if staff can improve their teaching conditions that will have an effect on us and improve our education."

Image caption Alice Keune is studying politics and international relations

Alice Keune, 20, from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, said: "I think the strikes are completely fair enough if people are feeling unhappy and feeling they are being paid unjustly.

"People absolutely have the right to strike and obviously it does interrupt our studies, but, I think in the long-run, a week's worth of lectures or seminars is completely fair enough for lecturers to take off."

Image caption International postgraduate student Giselle Naimi said lecturers and university bosses needed to talk to each other

Law postgraduate Giselle Naimi, 25, from Canada, said she was "upset" for the tutors and staff who were being underpaid but "as an international student I am also paying for my education and it is quite disruptive.

She added: "This happens at least once a year and it's time for administration to actually do something about it and negotiate properly with them so we can get the hours we deserve and they get the pay they deserve.

"We have phenomenal teachers but we just need them to actually be there and be happy as well."

Image caption Robbie Taylor said he was "not afraid" to cross the picket line

Geography student Robbie Taylor, 22, from Hampshire, said he supported the strikes but added "it's the students who are most impacted by their actions".

"I fully understand why they are doing it but I am not afraid to cross the picket line and go into university to use the facilities I paid to use," he said.

Image caption International student Zethy Bintizainudin said the strike should have been better communicated to students

Zethy Bintizainudin, 23, from Malaysia, is studying for a postgraduate degree in health, law and society at the University of Bristol.

She said: "I think the strike should have been communicated better because I was refreshing my emails and did not get anything.

"I am supporting my lecturers that are doing it because that's the purpose of it - to disrupt classes - and people are expressing their concerns that way. But as a student I'm paying the fees - and international students are paying double the fee."

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