By Lydia Blundell
Students have had their say on causes they would like to see the UCU strike fund put towards in Durham.
The strike by the Universities and Colleges Union, which was resolved in April 2018, left a fund comprised of unpaid salaries for teaching staff.
George Walker said: “Following the establishment of the UCU strike fund last academic year, we’ve taken the time to listen to how students would like the money to be spent, in order to maximise the positive impact on the student experience at Durham.”
Students had a choice of seven options to rank, according to what they think would be most beneficial for the University.
1131 responses were received in the survey, with the provision of mental health first aid training for student leaders and academics the most popular, with 380 responders prioritising this option.
Students were also enthusiastic about modifying Dunelm House to create more study space ahead of the peak study seasons.
The ranking results suggest fewer positive responses to investment in supporting student leaders and to setting up a student money support system which would fund the SU to provide advice on the increasing range of student money.
Other themes which arose from the survey were comments that staff ought to have salaries reimbursed, but more frequently comments called for students to be reimbursed for their missed contact hours last academic year. The need to increase diversity and accessibility in Durham was also raised by students.
Walker told Palatinate, “Guided by this input from the student body, we will be working with the University to deliver these exciting projects so that students can benefit from the fund.”
Illustration: Katie Butler