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Exeter graduations will not be affected by marking boycott, university confirms

Here’s how Exeter University is tackling the marking boycott


The marking and assessment boycott (MAB) began on 20th April and is the latest in a series of continued strike action from the UCU (The University and College Union). This action is known as an ASOS (Action Short of a Strike) and means that staff can opt out of marking exams and assessments. The University of Exeter has published its latest update on the UCU’s continued strike action on 31st May, with Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Tim Quine, emphasising the uni’s desire to be “fair and accurate…whilst preserving the high academic standards that maintain the value of your Exeter degree.  ”.

Following this, letters to undergrads, postgrads, and finalists have since been issued, so here is how MAB will impact different students:

All students

Tim Quine has said that the university will continue to “support” students and update them about national industrial strike action.

All marks, including those that are delayed, will be reviewed by APACs (Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees). They will ensure “fair and accurate” marks by comparing the performance of students in a whole module with those of previous years and if there has been a negative impact to marks, they will be adjusted “in line with historic performance” (known as scaling). The uni is also keeping the PSRBs (Professional Statutory and Regulatory bodies) in the loop for accredited programmes such as Engineering and Psychology, to make certain that students meet their requirements.

If you are a finalist or postgrad student with an international student visa, the uni is “liaising with the Home Office” about delayed marks for those wanting to apply for a Graduate Route visa. The uni has advised to follow the requirements of your visa and to contact industrialaction@exeter.ac.uk if you have any concerns.

This MAB can cause a lot of stress and worry, so if you’re feeling in need of support, here’s the places you can go to for guidance and advice: Wellbeing Services, Students’ Guild, industrial action webpage, or you can email industrialaction@exeter.ac.uk.

Undergrads (not due to graduate this summer)

Undergrads (not due to graduate this summer)

However, if when missing marks are released, you have not passed a module, you will have three options: resit the module, ‘trail’ the module assessment (you can take not normally more than 60 credits worth of assessments along next year’s study), repeat study (including all teaching and assessments…yikes).

If you’ve been really f*cked over and have a mixture of failed modules and missing results due to MAB, you can retake assessments in the summer. Is there a positive to this? Well, kind of. You will not have to pay fees to resit or repeat a module, even if you are repeating a whole year of study!

Postgrads (not due to graduate this summer)

Like undergrads, if you have not passed when marks become available, you will have two main options: to resit the module assessment or to repeat study (including all teaching and assessment for the module). You will also not need to pay any fees for resits or repeats – slay.

However, if your programme is across multiple years, like a typical undergrad degree, you will also have the opportunity to ‘trail’ the module assessment (again, not normally more than 60 credits worth).

Finalists (those graduating this summer)

Again, you have the same options like undergrads and postgrads if you have not passed when marks become available, and you won’t have to pay for resits or repeats.

This is where it gets a bit different to other students. If you have missing marks, you will get an interim transcript of your available marks. This will provide information to explain the reason for missing marks and you will receive your full transcript (including degree classification) when all your marks have been released.

Worried about further study or your graduate job? The uni has said they are “working with other UK universities” to ensure that students who wish to do further study can do so, provided their current marks meet the conditions of their offer. The uni has also said they can provide graduating students with “a supporting letter to send to…employers to explain the situation.”.

Now for the question on everyone’s minds…what is happening with graduation? Fear not, it will be going ahead as planned (provided you registered your attendance by 14th May). It is confirmed MAB will not prevent you from getting some cute insta pics and going absolutely feral in TP.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

‘Our problem isn’t with the students, it’s with the unis’: Exeter lecturers on why they’re striking

‘We shouldn’t be caught in the crossfires’: We spoke to Exeter students about the strikes