What is the industrial action about?
The University and College Union (UCU) for academic, academic-related and senior professional services staff is taking national industrial action over pay and conditions at 145 universities across the UK. The UCU is pursuing action short of a strike in the form of a marking and assessment boycott.
We will continue to keep the situation under careful review and keep graduating students up to date on developments.
How will students know if their assessments are affected by the boycott?
Graduating students will know if their assessments have been affected when they get their results (on 6 July for undergraduate final year students, and on 20 July for continuing undergraduate students) and any impact will be explained alongside their results.
What is the University doing to mitigate the boycott?
It is important to emphasise that we currently anticipate that the majority of final marks will be available as scheduled for our results release.
Teaching colleagues have been asked to prioritise educational assessment, marking, feedback/supervision and related activities so that any impact on students is minimised as much as possible.
Along with all other universities affected by the marking and assessment boycott, we continue to look at our academic policy and processes so that our academic decision-making can be fair and robust, even if some assessment outcomes are delayed. We will do whatever we can to try and ensure timely graduation and progression decisions, while maintaining the quality, rigour and value of our students’ degrees.
What is the quality assurance process?
Employers place a strong premium on the academic rigour of our degrees and recruit our graduates for their unique mix of academic, professional and workplace skills. Maintaining our robust academic decision-making is imperative, even if some assessment outcomes are delayed. We are taking all steps necessary to achieve timely graduation and progression for students and hope our employer partners will be accommodating and sensitive to graduating final year students holding job offers.
What is the timeframe for issuing results?
Students will know if their assessments have been impacted when they get their results (on 6 July for undergraduate final year students, and on 20 July for continuing undergraduate students) and any impact will be explained alongside their results.
Our priority will be getting timely and robust final marks to affected students as soon as we can. It is not possible for us to say at this point when this will be, due to the nature of the marking and assessment boycott, but we will process them for decision-making as soon as is practicable once they are available.
Will students receive a transcript?
All students will receive a transcript and where a student graduates with an incomplete set of marks this will be recorded and an explanatory comment included, for the benefit of students, graduates and employers. All students will receive their full results and amended transcript once available.
What is the sector advice to employers?
The Institute of Student Employers has issued guidance for employers and a recommendation that “recruiters consider the difficult situation a student has been placed in through no fault of their own and the relevant employment regulations”.
We appreciate this is a difficult situation for employers who also need to ensure their recruitment practices are fair and transparent, but we would call for some flexibility where possible.
We know graduate selection processes are incredibly robust and students who have passed the various stages have demonstrated their suitability and aptitude. Furthermore, the University of Bath has already committed that an interim classification based on partial marks can only stay the same or go up once final marks are known, it cannot go down.