A STUDENT has set up a petition calling on university bosses to refund tuition fees and compensate students for the lectures they miss when staff go on strike.

Lecturers in the University and College Union (UCU) are set to walk out for 14 days between February 22 and March 16 over a pensions dispute.

Conrad Whitcroft, 18, a first year politics student at the University of York, has gathered 2,500 signatures demanding £300 from education chiefs.

Students pay £9,000 a year for their education and Mr Whitcroft says this is what they should get back if they miss out on lectures.

“We are missing out on the education we have paid for,” he said.

“The university is trying to operate as a business by taking our money, but not providing us with any consumer rights that we have as customers.

“Not only have we not been given assurances about our education and lectures being re-taken, there’s the possibility that some of the lectures we miss will have content for our exams.”

Mr Whitcroft is directing his anger at university chiefs and supports the lecturers.

The dispute centres on Universities UK’s (UUK) proposals to end the defined benefit element of the Universities Superannuation Scheme pension scheme. UCU says this would leave a typical lecturer almost £10,000 a year worse off .

A University of York spokesman said it was “truly hoped” industrial action will be avoided.

He added: “As is made clear in the university’s terms and conditions of our offer to students, industrial action is one of a small number of exceptional circumstances that are beyond the control of the university. Our contingency plans aim to mitigate against any loss or damage faced by students in the course of their studies as a result of the industrial action.”