Readers' reactions

June 11, 1999

Ben Thompson Third-year student in media studies at the University of Westminster.

Ben Thompson spells out why many students are fed up with the industrial action of their lecturers.

It is an easy life being a university lecturer. Students are the ones who have a hard time and if we try to do anything about it, what support do we get? Lecturers are demanding more pay at a time when being a student has never been more financially demanding.

Students are used to having their protests for more money ignored and it is time lecturers became used to facing the same reaction. Where were the lecturers at Goldsmiths' College when their students held a sit-in protesting against tuition fees?

At Leeds University a fortnight ago, the Association of University Teachers claimed to have support from students for their disruptive action and the student union representative was duly wheeled out for show. I bet if you were to ask some of the 4,000 students who had to concentrate on exams while AUT members were busy waving placards you would not find the same response.

Exams are stressful enough at the best of times without the distraction of a demonstration. If lecturers cared about the welfare of their students, why did they start their protest just two hours before students were due to take their exams? Maximum disorder and minimum consideration were the order of the day and no one could be sympathetic towards such insensitivity.

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