STUDENTS will be handed “mitigating payments” if they miss out on lectures when university staff walk out for eight days.

Members of the University and College Union will strike between November 25 and December 4 following votes in favour of industrial action.

The strikes will hit 60 universities across the UK.

UCU members backed strike action in two separate disputes - one on pensions and one on pay and working conditions.

Essex University will offer “mitigating payments” to students affected by the strikes.

The final details of these plans are being worked out and no amounts have been confirmed.

When strike action took place in March last year as many as 500 lectures were cancelled and students called for refunds - something which was rejected.

Vice-chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “A concerted period of industrial action will inevitably have a negative impact on our students, notwithstanding our efforts to minimise this.

“We also know financial payments can never fully offset the impact of strike action on our students’ overall university experience.”

Prof Forster has also said universities should pay more to protect higher education pensions.

He said the strike decision “reflects the strength of feeling” around the pensions discussion.

He said: “In 2018 we had a painful and disruptive strike that dragged the parties to the negotiating table.

“It is a matter of enormous pain and regret that we again find ourselves in a position that the negotiators who represent us – both employers and employees – are not willing to embrace principled compromise in seeking a solution to our pensions crisis.

“There is an obligation on all parties to return immediately to the negotiating table without preconditions, to move on from win-lose strategies – and to recognise that principled compromise is the answer.

“If we fail to find a negotiated settlement, the future of our pensions will be resolved by the regulator – and few will find much solace in that outcome.”