In a major disruption to the UK’s higher education sector, a staff boycott of marking and assessment at over 100 British universities has left tens of thousands of students in a state of uncertainty. The months-long strike, a protest against inadequate pay and poor working conditions, has affected not only classes and exams but also graduations.

Woman shrugging
✅ AI Essay Writer ✅ AI Detector ✅ Plagchecker ✅ Paraphraser
✅ Summarizer ✅ Citation Generator

Key takeaways

  • A staff marking boycott at over 100 UK universities has left thousands of students, especially international ones, unable to graduate or secure jobs.
  • The strike is part of a larger dispute over pay and working conditions, with staff demanding a 25% pay increase since 2009.
  • The ongoing dispute threatens the international reputation of UK universities, which contribute significantly to the UK economy through international student fees.

Reuters reports, that one such student, Amelia Dias, a 22-year-old American studying international relations and law at the University of Edinburgh, was given an apology letter instead of her degree certificate. The lack of a degree, for which she paid approximately £80,000 ($102,792) in tuition fees, has jeopardized her ability to apply for a graduate visa and a prospective job in London.

The situation is particularly precarious for international students whose visas are nearing expiration. They face the possibility of having to return home without the ability to take up job offers or progress to postgraduate study. Dias, for instance, can extend her visa until January for a fee, but it remains unclear whether this will satisfy her prospective employer.

The University of Edinburgh reported that 27% of its final year students had not received their degrees at the time of graduation. The university expressed regret for not being able to protect its students from the impact of the national dispute.

The strike, part of a larger wave of industrial action across sectors such as healthcare and transport, comes as inflation in the UK hit a 41-year high of 11.1% in October. The Universities and Colleges Employers Association offered a 5-8% pay rise, partially implemented in February, with the rest due in August. However, the University and College Union (UCU), representing over 120,000 staff, continues the boycott, arguing for a 25% pay increase since 2009.

The strike has affected more than 140 universities, including internationally renowned institutions like the University of Cambridge. The longer the dispute continues, the greater the potential risk to the international reputation of Britain’s universities, three of which are in the top ten globally, according to the Times Higher Education 2023 rankings.

The UK government has largely remained silent on the issue, with Education Minister Gillian Keegan stating that the dispute is between the universities and their lecturers. However, she urged a resolution. The UK hosted nearly 680,000 international students in 2021-22, contributing £41.9 billion to the economy, according to Universities UK International.

($1 = 0.7783 pounds)


Opt out or Contact us anytime. See our Privacy Notice

Follow us on Reddit for more insights and updates.

Comments (0)

Welcome to A*Help comments!

We’re all about debate and discussion at A*Help.

We value the diverse opinions of users, so you may find points of view that you don’t agree with. And that’s cool. However, there are certain things we’re not OK with: attempts to manipulate our data in any way, for example, or the posting of discriminative, offensive, hateful, or disparaging material.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Register | Lost your password?