Lancaster University admits graduations may be deferred for final year students

The university published its advice for students about the marking boycott this afternoon

Lancaster University has announced that due to UCU marking boycotts, final year graduations may be deferred.

The boycott came into effect on April 20th, and could prevent some exams and courseworks being marked. Lecturers do not have to inform students if they are participating in the marking strike.

The university published their advice for students in regards to the UCU’s marking boycott.

In an email to students, the university provided links to information for all year groups, reinforcing: “We believe that most exams and assessments will be marked in the normal timeframes” and that all students should “[continue] to engage in [their] studies.” The university is not aware of how many lecturers will be taking part, but claim that the risk of students not graduating “is very remote”.

According to the information aimed at students graduating this year, the university said: “If 75% of your modules have marks then in most cases we can graduate you, calculating your provisional degree result on the basis of those modules.”

The information also explains that graduation deferrals could occur if a student does not “have enough marks to graduate”, or is part of a “programme where there are professional regulatory requirements that mean all your marks are required”, until all marks have been received. Stating: “We will endeavour to do this as quickly as possible after the boycott ends”.

Furthermore, the university states that students who are “provisionally” awarded degrees that do not match “requirements set by an employer or another university”, should contact their departments to “help explain the position”. The university states that all universities are aware of the potential of “provisional marks being used for classification”, and that media coverage will allow most employers to also be aware of the situation. It is advised that students should contact the necessary body and explain the provisionality of the classification, and that it could increase.

The boycott does not currently have a set end date.

A spokesperson for the university said: “The industrial action has affected more than 100 universities and is part of a national dispute over pay. This is an issue where the University cannot act independently to bring about a resolution as it is subject to national negotiation.

“We understand that graduation is important to students and their families. Lancaster has put in measures to protect students and must consider every possibility however remote. While we can’t rule out that in very rare cases a student may have to delay their graduation, we are confident that the vast majority of students will graduate at the normal time. The new safeguards that the University has implemented mean that no student will be academically disadvantaged as a result of the industrial action.

“While this dispute has arisen nationally, the University is committed to achieving the best possible and fairest pay for staff, which is also affordable and sustainable for the long term. We aim to positively influence negotiations as part of the process of reaching a resolution, and we will also work to keep an open dialogue with campus trade unions locally.”

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