Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Sir Ed Davey worried students are ‘missing out’ due to lecturer strikes

By Charlie Evans Mar 10, 2023
Sir Ed DaveyKingston and Surbiton MP Sir Ed Davey. Richard Gardner/Shutterstock

Kingston and Surbiton MP Sir Ed Davey has raised concerns that university students are “missing out” on their education because of strikes by lecturers.

The University and College Union recently announced an additional strike day on March 15 which will be followed by five further days of action in March. There have already been 13 strike days this year.

“I think there is a worry that students are missing out,” he said.

“The issue is how do you protect the students from missing out? They’re paying a lot, they deserve to have good tuition.

“Some students can do their course without necessarily a lot of lectures. For some, they simply cannot proceed without lecturers.

“We saw that in Covid and lockdown where those people on courses which needed practical stuff with very close supervision were the ones most affected,” he said.

However, the Liberal Democrats leader said he understood why lecturers are striking.

Lecturers protesting
Lecturers are striking for better pay. Credit: James Fraser/Shutterstock

“Lecturers do an amazing job for not a lot of money. There are very few lecturers who are well paid and some of their contracts are very casual.

“They’re very insecure which never used to be the case.”

Students have also been affected by rail strikes and Davey believes the government has not done enough to resolve the issues.

“Their failure to talk to unions has been one of the most despicable parts of what they have done,” he said.

The cost-of-living crisis has sparked a wave of strikes with public sector workers demanding better pay to be in line with inflation.

To support students at this time, the government has frozen tuition fees for the next two years and loans will increase by 2.8% but Davey thinks these measures do not go far enough.

“They don’t realise how tough it has been for students. I don’t know what the exact amount should be but 2.8% is so far below inflation.”

Davey said he was worried for students about rising rent levels and proposed restoring maintenance grants to levels before the Conservatives cut them.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s plans to extend the ULEZ in London have been controversial. Credit: Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

In the middle of this crisis, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is expanding the ULEZ from inner London to all boroughs and Davey has been vocal in his criticism of the policy.

“He should stop the rollout,” he said. “The problem with the extension is that he’s completely failed to realise it’s a very different set of communities.”

“In central London, you have lots of public transport and [a] much more densely populated area so air pollution was much more of a problem.

“In outer London, it’s a very different picture. A lot of people depend upon cars much more than inner London.”

Davey said the scheme was “badly designed” and that the Mayor was introducing it at the wrong time.

“He’s now asking people who are really struggling to pay this daily charge. I mean, what planet is the man living on?”

Davey suggested a more practical way to tackle the environment in this area would be to invest in public transport and build up electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

By Charlie Evans

Reporter/News Editor. Interests include: sport, politics and history.

Related Post