Amsterdam lecturers' refusal to mark tests could significantly delay students' studies
Over 130 junior lecturers at the University of Amsterdam have been refusing to grade tests since April 1, protesting for better working conditions. Students are starting to get worried. If they don't get their grades by the summer holidays, they may have to wait a year to retake tests and pay the extra year's tuition fees of some 2,000 euros, AT5 reports.
The young lecturers are protesting for permanent contracts and paid overtime. They decided to stop grading tests because grades are important for money flows to the university, but students can largely continue their studies without the test results for a time. "They hope in this way to cause the least possible disruption to education and at the same time send a very important signal to the university management," Joppe Gelderloos, junior lecturer in interdisciplinary social sciences, said to the broadcaster.
But a month and a half into the strike, students are getting increasingly concerned. Summer vacation is just around the corner. "I will soon need my list of grades to be able to graduate. If I have to retake the courses next year, I will also have to pay the tuition fees," one student said to AT5. "If the protest means that I won't be able to finish this year, then I think: come on, you also have to take your students into account."
"Students are feeling super uncertain. They don't know how to continue with their studies. It all causes a lot of stress," another student said to the broadcaster. "The lecturers are certainly screwing us. The student loan system already screwed us, and now the University of Amsterdam on top of that. We are getting screwed from all sides."
The striking lecturers are not the bad guys here, Gelderloos said to AT5. "I don't feel responsible for the stress among students. In order to facilitate good education, I need a future perspective, and there is none at the moment. The ball is in the university administrators' court."
The university is in talks with the junior lecturers and says it wants to work out a new policy with a better balance between temporary and permanent contracts. The university hopes the lecturers will start grading again because it is close to reaching an agreement with the union, the university said to AT5.