Senate House, Cambridge.

A joint statement, issued at 9am on 22 May, from Dr Anthony Freeling, Acting Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge, and Michael Abberton, Branch President, UCU Cambridge, about the current marking and assessment boycott.

It is regrettable that the national pay and conditions dispute has reached a point whereby a marking and assessment boycott has been called. Very sadly, and as things stand, it is likely to have a significant impact on students at Cambridge, and across the country.

This cohort of students have already been hit especially hard by the pandemic; now, many are facing the likelihood that the completion of their degrees and their graduation may be delayed. The boycott also means that some international students may not be able to apply for post-study graduate visas on completion of their course. No-one wants students to suffer further, and we are deeply sympathetic to the strength of feeling in our student body. For many, including staff, this is a stressful and anxious time.

We jointly want this dispute to be resolved as quickly as possible and for students to have their exams marked on time. Any dispute plainly requires negotiation. The ACAS negotiations on pay and working conditions were interrupted earlier this year. It is regrettable that these talks ultimately failed to resolve the dispute. We therefore call for negotiations between UCEA and UCU to restart to reach an agreed settlement. This needs to happen urgently, for the sake of our students, staff and members.


Related pages

Marking and assessment boycott: information for incoming students, employers and others outside of the University – published on 26 May 2023


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