Thursday, March 02, 2006

Strike while PowerPoint's still hot

Firstly, the 9 days between this post and last have just flown by so quickly. After my last post, I guess, there was the small matter of the news writing excercise, though that really took an hour's writing and a few hours of editing. Wasn't hard at all, which probably isn't good news for my marks. Then after that, there remained exactly a week to complete my research project: a 2,250 project based on an interview you conducted yourself, then relate your findings to previous research. So, in the last 7 days, I have completed my research project; that is, started it, do the reading read for the lit. review, written the lit. reivew, prepared and recorded the interview, written up the interview, written the methodology, work out what my findings were, write that up, and evaluate it all. So start and finish in 7 days. And that's being generous, I've basically done everything bar the background reading in the last 72 hours. Will it show? Time will tell.

Or will it? Leading me on to the point of this post; the up-coming lecturers' strike on Tuesday March 7th. The main point is; if their demands are not met, lecturers will work on a contract-only basis; which means, not working outside of timetabled hours. Which means not marking any work. Which means students don't get their marks. Which means we can't pass our units, our year, or if you're unlucky this year, your degree.

It's some threat to make, certainly. And it hits where it's likely to hurt; us, the students, who aren't the problem, who can't do anything about the problem, and who are the real losers in this battle. We pay our £1150 a year to be in higher education, (and thank god that's all until the unlucky sods starting University in 2007 get hit with top-up fees). Anyway, it is not possible to say "the students pay the lecturers' wages" and actually prove it. But essentially, the students' fees go to the University budgets, and the lecturers' wages come out of the University budgets. So...

It would be different if the professors and doctors and the Mrs Jones PhD, MA, PI etc decided to stop teaching instead, until their demands are satisfied. The students could still independently do the work, though this is in theory and would probably not actually happen. But still, the student is getting the rewards for the amount of work they put in, not putting in the work and then having to wait for TU action to decide when the rewards are given. On a side note, if lecturers refuse to mark work for the time-being, then why should students bother meeting deadlines?

This is by-the-by, of course, because it's all still yet to happen. But if it does happen, from where I'm standing, the students are the losers in the battle between the Government and NATFHE.

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