University College Union (UCU) members will continue strikes at 60 universities across the country today – including the University of Birmingham – with industrial action continuing until 4th December.
Following advice from the Office for Students, if you have had your studies, assessments or other services disrupted, your first point of call should be to contact the University and/or your School. In doing this, you are entitled to discuss whether it is possible to make up for any lost teaching, and whether any other loss of services and support can be rearranged so as to minimise the disruption that you have sustained.
Where the absence of teaching has, or will, have an impact on assessments or other work that needs to be submitted, you should be able to submit this to be taken into account as part of the University’s extenuating circumstances process. The University have however confirmed:
- If you have exams or assignments over the strike period, you should continue to prepare and attend them as required.
- If hand in dates and deadlines have been affected by cancelled teaching, the deadlines may be extended. Further, you will not be assessed on any content that has not been covered due to disruption.
- For accredited degrees, the University will rearrange sessions to ensure this content is covered.
For students that are concerned about their academic interests and want to seek support external from the University, we would encourage students to contact the Guild of Students and your Officer Team where we can raise your concerns with the University and try to ensure disruption does not adversely impact your degree.
If you feel that the University has not been proactive in addressing your concerns, you are entitled to submit a complaint through the University’s complaints process. Following this, if the outcome is unsatisfactory, you have the right to make a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education.
The OIA has published guidance about its approach to complaints by students affected by the industrial action. You are within your right as a student to pursue this route should you wish.
As the Guild of Students is based on the edge of campus, the building will be opened up to allow students to independently study. The Guild can be entered via Edgbaston Park road meaning you do not have to cross the picket line to come here and access study space.
Each day we will be posting via the Guild’s social media channels to let you know which rooms are available. Today's study space availability is as follows:
Guild Council Chambers: 9am-1pm
Bryn Gough: 9am-1pm
Roomy McRoomface: 9am-1pm
Mckellan Room: 9am-2pm
Room of Requirement: 9am-12:30pm
There is also study space available in the Study Lounge (former Costa).
Staff striking will be situated around the main entrance points to the University campus and will be sharing information about why they are striking. Trade Unions ask that if you support the strikes, you do not cross the picket line in solidarity with them.
However, if you are obligated to attend a lecture and seminar (for example you are a student on a Tier 4 visa), you can still cross the picket line and enter campus. Campus services such as the Library will be operating as usual.
Students with a Tier 4 Visa
Some of our international students are required to have their attendance and engagement monitored as part of their visa conditions. If this applies to you, you should continue to attend all scheduled sessions and check-ins. However, if these are cancelled, the University will make alternative arrangements to ensure there is no impact on your visa conditions.
During the industrial action on campus, we ask that students who do not want to cross the picket line do continue to access the services we have at the Guild should they need it. This includes advice and support from Guild Advice and study spaces outside of the picket line.
If there are any questions or concerns, please get in touch with your Officer Team who will be more than happy to help!