UCL News


UCL University and College Union industrial action - your questions answered

22 March 2018

As you will be aware, UCL is one of 61 universities across the UK to have experienced some disruption to classes as a result of industrial action in February and March.

Quad It is possible that there will be further industrial action in Third Term. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions with regards to your exams, assessment and attendance.

What is happening with the negotiations?

An intense round of talks between the University and College Union (UCU), representing staff, and Universities UK (UUK), representing university employers, held at the Arbitration and Conciliation Service (ACAS), resulted in a proposed agreement. However, this proposal was rejected by staff representatives across the country. It is not yet clear what will happen next, but we continue to urge UCU and UUK to get back to the negotiating table. A sustainable USS pension scheme, which works for UCL staff members and for the sector as a whole, is the outcome we want to see. 

What will happen about examinations and results?

The two principles that we work to in addressing any problems with examinations and assessments (whether caused by industrial action or for other reasons) are: being fair to students, and ensuring the integrity of our academic standards. Should there be any impact on your examinations or the marking of your assessed work, UCL will do its utmost to ensure that you are not disadvantaged. UCL knows about the classes that have not taken place due to the industrial action and will take this into account either in the exam paper that we set for you or when we consider your marks. Our examination boards have procedures that they can use to make these decisions. There is a possibility you may experience some delays in receiving your results if we are not able to complete all our marking and results approval processes in the usual way.  

For further support with exams, see our new Exam Success Guide.

What about coursework assessment?

Your department will advise you on arrangements for coursework assessment. These will vary from no change through to extensions to allow more time for you to submit the work.

What about labs that I have missed and in-class tests?

Your department will advise you on whether your labs or in-class tests will be rearranged to take place on a non-strike day, or whether they will be cancelled. If your lab was to be assessed or you had an in-class test and these cannot be rescheduled, we will discount these components from your overall module mark, in line with our regulations, so that you are not penalised as a result of the cancellation.

Do I need to submit an extenuating circumstances form?

You do not need to submit an extenuating circumstances form as we have information about the impact of the strike on your classes. This includes exams and coursework assessment. 

Will my degree be devalued if I missed some of my teaching and in-class assessments?

Please bear in mind that the teaching, learning and assessment for your programme of study takes place in a range of different ways, not just in the classroom. You can use your reading list and on-line materials as usual to ensure that you continue to have a wider learning experience.

Will I be penalised under the attendance policy where my classes were cancelled?

We will not penalise you for not attending classes that we have cancelled due to the industrial action. These classes will not count towards the 70% attendance requirement.

What if my classes were running but I didn't want to attend them?

We would expect all students to attend classes where they are running.

I am a Tier 4 visa student - will I be penalised for not attending classes?

If you are a student on a tier 4 visa you will not be penalised if you are unable to attend classes that have been cancelled due to the strike action. We will assume that you are engaged with your studies in other ways if your classes are not running.

Will UCL be offering compensation to students for the strikes? 

This question cannot be answered at this time. Your tuition fees contribute to your entire education and are not directly linked to specific contact or teaching hours. It is too early to know what the specific impact may be on individual students' learning outcomes. UCL will not benefit from pay deducted from staff taking action, all monies will be put into the student hardship fund to directly support students.

Has your question been answered?

If you have any other questions that you would like to ask about the industrial action and its impact, please speak to staff in your local departmental staff who may be able to help. Alternatively, contact srs@ucl.ac.uk.

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