Marking and Assessment Processes

An update from Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Simone Buitendijk on marking and assessment processes.

Dear colleague,

I am writing with an update on the University’s approach and processes for the summer assessment period, which were discussed at Senate today (10 May).

Significant work has been undertaken to prepare for the summer assessment period, to both improve our processes and to mitigate the impact of a marking and assessment boycott, which I wrote about in my email on 24 April.

Specific details about the changes we are making to improve marking and assessment processes will be shared with Heads of School and Service later this week, but include activities such as:

Adjusting the timing of some examinations to provide more time to mark modules which cut across disciplines.

  • Enhanced guidance for how to apply procedures for exceptional circumstances.
  • Introducing local and institutional assessment trackers to quickly identify missing marks.
  • Reviewing and improving the processes for changing marks and how School Boards are used.

We have also recruited some additional posts in the Student Education Service to support the assessment processes across all faculties and schools.

We expect these changes to make the marking and assessment process easier and more transparent for all colleagues. They will lead to a better experience for everyone, regardless of whether their schools and faculties are impacted by the marking and assessment boycott.

The next term is critical for progressing and graduating our students, and as a community we must continue to do all we can to ensure that this takes place as smoothly as possible. I know and very much appreciate the widespread commitment of colleagues to continue to protect the education of our students and the integrity of their awards.

The following information is only directly relevant for staff who are intending to take part in the marking and assessment boycott.

Whilst the University recognises the right of staff to take part in lawful industrial action, we have made clear that we reject the notion of partial performance in the form of a marking and assessment boycott as Action Short of Strike (ASOS).

We’ve published detailed guidance on our For Staff website for members of staff who are intending to take part in the marking and assessment boycott in relation to our approach to withholding pay and the process for notifying the University.

Industrial action is always difficult and disruptive to communities. As detailed in my message on 27 April, we are continuing to make positive progress on issues that affect our whole community and which we agreed to work on with our campus unions to address.

Further information about the University’s approach and processes for the summer assessment period is available on our Industrial Action In depth page.

We will be sharing relevant information with students and postgraduate researchers shortly. This will be available on our For Staff news pages.

Best wishes,

Professor Simone Buitendijk
Vice-Chancellor and President