Roho finalists: Will they graduate?

UCU WILL boycott the exam marking process if the long-standing disputes around fair salaries for university staff are not met

Finalists of Royal Holloway University face potentially devastating consequences if the Universities and College Employers Association (UCEA) refuse to negotiate with the UCU for adequate pay.

Members of staff at Royal Holloway claim that, despite trying for months to negotiate, the UCEA are refusing to budge on their offer of a 1% pay – an insubstantial amount given the 13% pay drop since 2009. 

Now, an exam boycott could go ahead unless an agreement is reached – so finalists hoping to graduate this summer will be hit the worst.

It’s not adding up!

The boycott is planned to go ahead on 28th April 2014 when members of the UCU at RoHo will disrupt the exam marking process.

Despite the tuition fees tripling since the academic intake of 2012, leaving these universities with an extra £1billion surplus in the bank, RHUL finalists might not be able to graduate if the authorities do not respond quick enough – as exam boycotting could go ahead.

While it’s been said that college execs are preparing a statement about the issues, students have begun to take note of the significant increase in pay for those sitting at the top.

But it might not come as a surprise for some.

With Royal Holloway’s principle sitting on a huge annual salary of £260,000 gross as of last year, it brings into question whether, as a student, this the kind of thing students don’t want their £9k a year to be sufficing.

On being asked her opinions regarding the marking boycott, a lecturer at RHUL poignantly stated that she did not come into teaching for the money:

“I teach because I value the importance of teaching and of research. The long-term consequences of this problem are not being considered.”

What kind of doctors would you rather in the health-care system? Those taught by well-paid professionals or by stressed and underpaid lecturers working multiple jobs in order to make a living.

We want our professionals, professional!

Admittedly an extreme example, but one that points to issues surrounding the long-term damaging consequences on the structure of an academic establishment. Not only is the quality of teaching in danger, but equally whether people will want to teach at university level at all.

I chose Royal Holloway exclusively because of those that teach us. For the strength of the education that we receive on a daily basis. Although the principle is yet to voice much about the issue at hand, there are students at Royal Holloway that could suffer because our educators are being exploited.

We want this principle! One that will open his door to us, to talk to all of us about what can be done.


It might be worth dropping him an email, or even a tweet to let him know you’re thinking of our finalist students and our educators. Maybe then they might begin to understand that we value our tutors at RHUL. Will they listen to where the paying students would rather have their money spent?