‘Exhausted and useless’: The marking boycott has now delayed some students’ loans

Students at UWE in Bristol received their student finance payments late due to missing grades from the marking boycott

Students at The University of the West of England in Bristol have been delayed in receiving their student loan payments this term as a result of the marking boycott.

UWE told The Tab: “Due to the marking and assessment boycott, a small number of students have only just received their results and this has resulted in a delay to them receiving their expected student loan payments.”

One student, Bim, said that the delay in payments gave her “a full blown meltdown for over an hour. I constantly felt exhausted and useless because I couldn’t do anything about it.”

“I had to ask my parents for food money because it was delayed and I couldn’t afford transport.”

A number of students at Newcastle University as well as King’s College London also got their loans three days later than planned.

The marking boycott, which has now ended, has been ongoing since Thursday 20th April 2023. This meant that striking staff did not complete any marking of exams and essays.

The boycott has left thousands of students in the UK graduating without degrees, international students forced to leave the UK due to visa problems, students losing places on prestigious grad schemes and protests at graduations. In July, The Tab found that over two thirds of students’ mental health had worsened as a result of the marking boycott.

But now, the boycott has also prevented students receiving their loan payments, which for most students is their main source of income, on time.

Speaking to The Tab, Bim, a third year psychology student at UWE said: “Students were emailing back and fourth, trying to complain and the complaint process took longer than the answers I needed. I hated feeling like I couldn’t do anything and student finance just made me realise how bad it was. It was affecting my money, my rent and my bills, just the uncertainty of everything.”

marking boycott student loan

UWE psychology student Bim’s loan was delayed due to the boycott

Bim also said she had to borrow money off her parents for food and couldn’t afford transport.

She added: “The working lecturers didn’t seem to know anything and would tell us one thing after another. In fairness they don’t know, but it’s not fair on us when we pay for them to know or figure things out. It just felt like they were lying to us all the time.”

Bim then received an email that marks had been released and “spent the whole time shaking looking for them” but then when she logged on to the student portal, there was nothing. “I felt like I was being pranked.”

Another student, Dora, said: “Over the summer staff sent multiple emails promising our loan would not be affected by industrial action but this is not the case. Students depend on their loan to pay rent, to be able to put food on the table and just generally live and now that has been taken away from us.”

Dora is a final year student at UWE

“I’m going into my final year with no information, being told my introductory lectures are cancelled, and with no loan. We have so much uncertainty with no support,” she said.

A spokesperson for UWE Bristol said: “Due to the marking and assessment boycott, a small number of students have only just received their results and this has resulted in a delay to them receiving their expected student loan payments.

We understand the distress this has caused, so we have opened up our emergency loan scheme and any UWE Bristol student who has had student loan payment delays can access the this by contacting our Student Money Service as soon as possible.”

Has your student loan been delayed as a result of the marking boycott? Let us know by emailing [email protected] 

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