ANXIOUS students have been told they will not be compensated as hundreds of lecturers continue to strike over a pensions dispute.

It is thought more than 15,000 students will be affected by the industrial action, as members of University and College Union (UCU) fight changes to the Superannuation Scheme.

The majority of lecturers who are part of the UCU voted in favour of 14 days worth of strikes after it was revealed that staff could lose £10,000 per year after retirement.

Brendan Hill, a final year Languages student, told the Chronicle that the university was 'making a profit' from the misfortune of students after being told compensation was out of the question.

He said: "We sympathise hugely with our lecturers and support their fight to do all they can to get a fair pension deal.

"I am concerned that everything we have done up until this point is being jeopardised by the management of the university and things that are totally out of our control. It is a massive sum of money and it is supposed to be an investment in our future.

"I have had a response from senior management that there will be no remuneration, so I have decided not to traumatise myself by working out how much money we are wasting.

"The last thing we need after all of this hard work is to be told that our lessons are being cancelled.

"Lecturers are not being paid during the strikes so the university is making a profit from our misfortune."

The new pension scheme will scrap guaranteed pension benefits in favour of a defined contribution scheme, which will leave retirement income down to the returns made from investment in the stock market.

Further UCU strikes will see teachers picketing at the Whiteknights and London Road campuses for four day this week and five days next week.

The union says it was left with no alternative but to strike and more than 86 per cent of Reading UCU members voted in favour of striking.

A University of Reading spokesman added: “The University is not currently considering compensation.

“Impact of the action has varied across the University, but most scheduled classes have proceeded as normal. We are doing all we reasonably can to mitigate the impact of the strikes on our students where these have occurred, particularly around teaching and assessments. 

"We are considering a range of options for delivering teaching or materials for any classes affected, which may include rescheduling, combining missed classes with other scheduled teaching or providing written materials. Other University facilities are open and available. We have been regularly updating students and staff and will continue to do so as the industrial action progresses.

"If we cannot mitigate the impact in some individual cases, we have developed a process to ensure those students are not unfairly disadvantaged from an academic perspective in their assessments, ensuring that programme examiners take the impact of the strikes into account.

"The University Executive Board has agreed that any money deducted from staff taking part in the strike will be ring-fenced and used initially to help meet the costs of mitigating the action and its impact.

"Once these costs have been met, remaining funds will be used to support the welfare of students and staff.”