Students from across Glasgow’s universities to protest today against ‘dodgy degrees’

Over 100 students are expected to take to the streets

Students from universities and colleges across Glasgow plan to protest against the government and college employers for their perceived lack of intervention in the ongoing industrial action within the college sector.

‘Our Results Matter’, the student-led protest organised by a group called Student Action, will start from today 9am to 11.30am at the City of Glasgow College.

The protest comes as a direct response to the disruptive impact of the universities’ lack of negotiations with the UCU which has left the majority of graduating students without their full final results.

It is expected that around 100 people will participate in the protest. Organisers have told The Tab Glasgow some students will come to speak, a video of student opinions will be shown, and some will join the CoGC picket line to show “students are beside our lecturers”.

Sher Khalid-Ali is one of the organisers of Student Action and social sciences student at New College Lanarkshire. She has achieved grades surpassing her university offer, however, the official input of these grades has been withheld. She said “it’s an awful feeling” that lecturers prepare to go on summer break on Friday, leaving no apparent resolution in sight.

“We are terrified. We’ve done our bit, and this is totally out of our control,” she added, calling on students to join the protest rally. “We’re hoping for a large turnout.”

All of Glasgow’s universities have failed to provide a satisfactory solution for students, leaving them with ambiguous results.

Gerald, a passionate HNC student in Computer Games Development at the City of Glasgow College, is joining the protest. He shared his concerns about the delay in receiving his graded unit results due to the strikes, causing anxiety not only for himself but also for others whose university placements rely on these grades.

While he has a secured place for his HND Computer Games Development course, he empathises with those whose futures may be at risk.

He said: “It’s sad in the modern day, that lecturers need to take this action, but the lack of care from College management, coupled with the disinterest from the Scottish and British governments has shown us, staff and students’ actions like this need to be taken for the betterment of future education.”

One of Gerald’s main motivations for participating in the protest is the potential loss of 100 jobs at the CoGC, which he sees as a threat to living individuals. He commended the lecturers at the CoGC for their dedication and kindness, urging that future students deserve the same level of education and support amidst the college’s facing the potential loss of up to 100 jobs as it seeks to address a £6 million deficit.

By joining the protest, Gerald aims to amplify the collective voice calling for change and improved support for education. He believes that unity and solidarity can create a brighter future for all students and educators.

Lauren Ellis, a master’s student studying Italian and Spanish at the University of Glasgow, is determined to join today’s protest. In just a week, she will attend her graduation ceremony where she will be awarded a degree that now states “qualified,” a change from its initial classification as “unclassified.”

She said: “In my very strong opinion, Glasgow University can’t negotiate in order to benefit the education of their own students.”

The ceremonies are still going ahead. “It’s not going to be nearly as impactful as it should be because me and my family and friends don’t even know what we’re celebrating.”

An anonymous Arts student at Glasgow University said she’ll receive her official degree certificate next week, and claims the piece of paper will not accurately reflect the time and money spent on her degree.

“In order to continue pretending everything is normal, the University of Glasgow is giving us dodgy degrees which are not representative of a full array of assignments.”

“After 4 years of incredibly hard work, over 600 hours spent on a dissertation which may never be seen by the staff who helped me write it, and over £28k in loans, I am appalled and embarrassed that this is my culmination,” she said.

As of June 15, over 500 students have signed an open letter asking the Scottish Government to take action.

Though, last month, Graeme Dey, Minister for Higher and Further Education in the Scottish Government, responded to Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Independence, clarifying that the Scottish Government does not have direct involvement in the national collective bargaining process.

He wrote: “It is for college management and trade unions to negotiate pay and terms and conditions voluntarily, in the spirit of collaboration and co-operation.”

Mary Senior, Scotland official UCU, said the blame for the disruption to graduations, degrees, and qualification awards lies squarely with university bosses.

She said: “UCU members are really heartened with the support and solidarity from students that we’re seeing in every university.”

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