28. February 2020 Tomáš Tatran

The Strikes

After the first term, it´s now time to head straight into the following one. The second out of three, which may come as a surprise to many, since Czech universities usually have only two terms. All in all, everything sort of stayed the same for me, except for a few changes in the modules. I feel like I sort of adjusted to both university life and life in Britain.

Another thing that, sadly, stayed the same, was the pensions, pay and job security of the academic staff. That´s why there´s another wave of strikes this term, and it´s a significant one. The strikes last for four weeks, which is twice as long as in the last term. Organized by UCU (University and College Union), these strikes are taking place on more than 70 universities across the UK. Considering the term only lasts about three months, it´s an inevitable disruption for almost every student. We´re losing a lot of contact hours and sadly, although negotiations are taking place, the consensus is yet to be reached. As all the main examinations are peeking around the corner, one can imagine it´s not the best for the students. It gets even worse when you realize the main examinations cover the whole year and not just this term, as the system is different from the Czech one.

Ending on a positive note, I would like to mention that over the winter break I attended a meeting of the students supported by The Kellner Family Foundation. I absolutely loved every part of it. Aside from Mr. Vondra, a member of the EU parliament, one was given the possibility of meeting other similarly minded and exceptionally talented people from all over the country studying at various universities across the world, which was extremely inspiring. For me, personally, a very pleasant ending to the first term.

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