University of Liverpool lecturers taking part in ‘marking boycott’

There are claims it means final years may ‘graduate with incomplete transcripts’

University of Liverpool lecturers are taking part in a “marking boycott”.

The boycott comes in response to the University’s intent to make “24 leading teachers and researchers redundant by measuring them against false metrics”.

In response to this boycott, the University is reportedly proposing t0 “alter” its Code of Practice on Assessment, which it’s been claimed will impact student’s grades and final year’s graduate classifications.

In a statement made via email and Canvas by UoL lecturers such as Dr Sophie Oliver and Dr Xavier Mathieu, it is claimed that this alteration will mean new measures including “suspending second marking/moderation of your work, returning work without feedback, having people who do not teach on our module mark your work, and scrapping external examiners”.

In it, final year students are told: “The University proposes to let you graduate without all of your module marks, graduating instead with incomplete transcripts and modules/credits missing.” This similarly goes for second year students, in which a percentage of this year will count towards their final grade.

The statement says that for graduates, a marking boycott will mean experiencing difficulty “when applying for jobs, graduate schemes and post-graduate study”, with the email even going as far to say they will “question the value and legitimacy of degrees from The University of Liverpool”.

In an email to students today, the university says there will be a “temporary calculation of your weighted average for the year based on the marks that we have available”.

It goes on to say: “Any students with missing marks will have their remaining marks entered when they are available and, at that point, your average mark will automatically be recalculated.” Final year students’ classifications will not change until all marks have been received, and they will not decrease – the uni says “your classification can only increase”.

The university’s statement, which you can read in full here, says: “We want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of the ongoing industrial action on your studies, particularly those of you who are waiting for your 2020/21 results and those of you expecting to graduate this summer.

“Colleagues undertaking the marking boycott from Friday, 18 June have been asked to make assessment and marking their top priority in the period before the boycott begins.

“Students will receive available results in line with published deadlines. For the majority of students this will be on Monday, 5 July.”

It also addresses claims over the value of Liverpool Uni degrees, saying: “We are absolutely confident in the value of our degrees and have provided solutions which balance the importance of your progression, graduation, further study or job opportunities with the essential integrity of your degree.

“The ability to award your degree is a privilege to all of us at the University. It is a mark of your commitment, dedication to learning and above all, your hard work. There are no circumstances in which we would risk the integrity and value of that award, and our decision making over the last 18 months has had that point at the forefront throughout.”

Related stories recommended by this writer:

We spoke to UOL students about graduation being cancelled, and this is what they said

Graduation cancelled for UoL second year running