A SCOTTISH university is using recordings of lectures from last year to keep students up to date with courses during the current strike by academics over pensions.

Edinburgh University's Law School has asked staff to identify lecturers and tutorials that have been missed because of strike days so audio tapes of lectures from last year can be uploaded onto its website.

An email to lecturers the head of the law school states: "Ensure that, as quickly as possible, for missed lectures you liaise with the undergraduate office about identifying the specific lecture missed in order to have its recorded counterpart from last session uploaded. This is only happening sporadically at the moment.

"We need to try to do this quickly, otherwise students may end up missing out on teaching in the correct order, and I cannot oversee all of this personally.”

However, the move was attacked by the University and College Union (UCU) Scotland who accused Edinburgh University using the "out of date" recordings in an attempt to "break" the ongoing strike over pensions.

Mary Senior, UCU Scotland official, said Edinburgh University was taking steps to break the strike in an "underhand way".

She said: "Students deserve the full attention of lecturers and not out of date recordings recycled by university management. If the university doesn’t stop using these recordings in this way then they’re letting down both their staff and students.”

Jodie Waite, vice-president of student body NUS Scotland, also attacked the move arguing the use of old recordings "beggars belief".

She said: “Good lectures can’t just be reduced to re-runs, they should be engaging and relevant to the time in which they’re delivered. "Using recorded lectures in this way completely undermines their intended use and true value to make education more accessible.

"We’d be deeply concerned if any institution saw this as a legitimate proposal. The only positive solution to these strikes for students is universities getting round the negotiating table and reaching an agreement with their staff."

The strike, which is now in its third week, is over cuts to the USS pension scheme which the UCU claims would see some lecturers lose as much as £10,000 a year in retirement.

Lecturers and academic related professional staff in nine other Scottish universities are also taking part in the action in which staff are taking 14 days of action. In the strike ballot 87 per cent of UCU members backed strike action with the turnout in Scotland 63 per cent.

The UCU said the practice of universities recording lectures was a grey area because - while there were legitimate reasons for doing so if students needed to listen to a lecture again - it was important lecturers gave their consent.

The union said lecturers participating in the strike action had not given their consent for any recordings to be played to students while they were on the picket lines.

Talks between the UCU and Universities UK aimed at solving the current dispute take place today and tomorrow with conflict resolution service Acas.