UCU Strike Update: Supporting Your Education

VP Education Kate Roberts is back with more important updates about the upcoming strike action being taken by The University and College Union (UCU), and what is being done to support your education.

As a Students’ Union, it is our responsibility to act in the interests of our membership, so we are working hard to mitigate any negative effects on your educational experience as a result of the current UCU strikes.

Since our last update the University have made the decision to move back the start of third-year undergraduate exams, stating that:

“In order to provide additional revision time and the opportunity for schools and departments to offer additional exam preparation activities, we have taken the decision to move the start date of final year undergraduate examinations from Tuesday 28 April to Monday 4 May.

“There is no change to the start date of examinations for first and second-year undergraduates or postgraduates, these will begin on Tuesday 28 April. The examination period will end by Friday 29 May as planned.”

If you have any further questions about this change, please contact your School Office or Head of Department.

What is the SU doing?

We are working to support your education in a number of ways;

  • We have sent a formal letter to James Knowles (Senior Vice-Principal for Education) detailing a number of questions regarding the impact of the UCU Strikes on your education, we will share the formal response with you once it is received.

Read the letter

  • We are having regular meetings with James Knowles to discuss any concerns raised to us by students and get a better understanding of the impact on students.
  • We have worked with the University to set up drop-in sessions with James Knowles, which can be found advertised on our events page and on Facebook. These drop-in sessions are a good place to discuss any concerns you have over the impact of the strikes on your course and bring up any potential solutions you feel could be beneficial.

Please get in touch if you would like a Sabbatical Officer to accompany and support you any of these drop-in sessions.

The times and dates are as follows:

  • Thursday 5 March 2pm - 3pm – Boilerhouse 0-07
  • Wednesday 11 March 3pm - 4pm – McCrea 2-01
  • Thursday 19 March 12pm - 1pm – McCrea 0-33

You can also attend a drop-in session held by your School to raise any specific concerns you have, the times and locations for these can be found here.

We are continuing to encourage progress on the issues of the strike, relating to pensions and pay, equality and working conditions. You can find out more information on these issues here in our FAQs.

What can I do?

There are a number of avenues you can take if you have concerns about the impact of the strike on your education:

  • Attend one of the drop-in sessions mentioned above.
  • You can send an email to industrialaction@royalholloway.ac.uk with any questions you have that may not have been answered in the University’s FAQs.
  • You can submit a formal complaint if you have used the options above and not received a satisfactory outcome. If this is the case, please get in touch with our Advice Centre who can help you fill in the form and provide further guidance. Unfortunately, a response to a formal complaint will likely be a long process and will only be possible once the strikes have ended and the University is able to ascertain whether the learning outcomes of your course have been met. You can email advice@su.rhul.ac.uk. Alternatively, you can book an appointment via the Students’ Union Helpdesk either in person or by calling 01784 276700.
  • Apply to the Industrial Action Hardship Fund to claim back any unnecessary expenses you incur.

How do I access the Industrial Action Hardship Fund?

If you incur any unnecessary expenses due to the strike action you can apply to the Industrial Action Hardship Fund, you will need evidence to support your application so make sure you keep any receipts for expenses you incur.

For example, these expenses could be travel expenses, car parking or childcare. The application form for reimbursement from the fund can be found here.

You will need to send the completed form to your academic department and they will complete their sections and send it to student finance. You will then be paid directly into your bank account within a few weeks. If you would like guidance in applying to the fund, again please contact our Advice Centre.

Further Information

If you have any further questions please look at both our FAQs and the University’s FAQs for more information or get in touch with me by emailing vpeducation@su.rhul.ac.uk.

Kate Roberts // Vice President Education