More than 75,000 students join legal action to demand up to £500 million from Universities over lost learning from strikes and Covid
- The number of students joining the landmark legal action has risen dramatically
- Read: More than 70,000 staff at 150 institutions are set to take part in series of strikes
More than 75,000 students have joined legal action to demand compensation of up to half a billion pounds from top universities for lost learning over strikes and Covid.
It comes as more than 70,000 academics across 150 universities will walk out this week in the largest strikes in the history of British higher education.
The number of students joining the landmark legal action by the Student Group Claim has risen dramatically from just 20,000 last year after further action was announced.
If successful, the legal action could trigger a torrent of claims from anybody who attended university after 2018 seeking an average of £5,000 per person in compensation.
More than 70,000 academics across 150 universities will walk out this week in the largest strikes in the history of British higher education
Week one: Wednesday February 1
Week two: Thursday February 9 and Friday February 10
Week three: Tuesday February 14, Wednesday February 15 and Thursday February 16
Week four: Tuesday February 21, Wednesday February 22 and Thursday February 23
Week five:- Monday February 27, Tuesday February 28, Wednesday March 1 and Thursday March 2
Week six: Thursday March 16 and Friday March 17
Week seven: Monday March 20, Tuesday March 21 and Wednesday March 22
No strike action is due to be taken on the week commencing March 6.
Eighteen universities, including University College London, Imperial College London and the Universities of Manchester and Leeds, have received legal letters notifying them of the lawsuit.
UCL will appear in court for the landmark hearing this week – the same day that millions of schoolchildren will be affected by over 100,000 teachers from the NEU walking out.
Lawyers for the university – which paid its vice chancellor a record £589,000 last year – are set to attempt to block the proceedings by arguing students should go through the university’s internal processes.
But lawyers for the students say this is simply a delaying tactic to avoid facing a High Court judge. They argue students deserve compensation for a ‘breach of contract’ over lost teaching by the 18 universities – who boosted their coffers by £1billion during the pandemic.
Jowita Maniak, a former crime and forensic science postgraduate at UCL, said: ‘We should have been compensated from the start. Open University, which is online only teaching, is a fraction of the price.’
David Hamon, who studied a master’s degree in international public policy at UCL, said that while he supports the lecturers’ strikes, it is wrong that students should ‘bear the burden of the disruption rather than the universities who, unlike us, have thrived financially’.
The Student Group Claim is being handled by solicitors Asserson and Harcus Parker.
Shimon Goldwater, partner at Asserson, said: ‘Students at UCL and across the country simply did not receive the service they paid for, and, like any other consumer, they deserve fair compensation for the loss they have suffered.’
Source: Read Full Article