Many of you fee paying students will probably have received an email talking about the staffs’ pay having been cut by 13% over the last four years, and have been asked to not only “understand” this movement, but even to “support” it.
As a student of this University, I fully appreciate the hard work and long hours that our teaching staff “dedicate” to improving their students’ education. However, the bottom line is that they are being paid for this. When applying for a certain post, in whatever job, the applicant has to understand not only what their job role entails, but to also understand their pay and what they’re being paid for.
To be a teacher at Southampton University, you have to be passionate not only about the subject that you teach, but also passionate about your pupils and their wellbeing.
Therefore, in response to the article “Why I’m striking”, in which the teaching assistant clearly realises they have put their seminar groups at a “disadvantage”, I ask “Why?” Why is it that students who are now paying £9,000 per anum, plus living expenses, plus food expenses, should suffer because the teachers have found “no other option” but to strike? I am sympathetic of students who have repeatedly been told to “attend another class”, but cannot because we too have busy schedules and deadlines.
If we students were to “support” this strike, what will we get in return? We will not be taught any better or any worse and we will get no refunds for this, so I ask “What’s in it for the students?” because “Hell knows” we ARE “paying enough”.
Furthermore, if you are going to protest, why not come up with an idea that has had some success in England? As opposed to “striking”, which is a form of protest that clearly hasn’t been working recently; I refer back to the 2012 student protests against the fee increase, which have evidently had no effect.
Lastly, I quote “Will the strike fix all this? Of course not”. If the teaching assistant who has written their article is meant to represent the staff at Southampton University and their opinions and reasons for the strike then I am thoroughly disappointed. How exactly are students meant to support a strike that the teaching staff themselves don’t fully believe will work and improve their pay situation?
It is a somewhat ridiculous thought to know that whilst paying more fees than any past students in English universities, we are now being forced to miss lessons we have paid for, and are being asked to participate in movement in which the teaching staff have no faith.
Why not get together and discuss a solution that you believe WILL work, instead of participating in something in which you have no faith, and disadvantaging fee paying students?