Marking and assessment boycott update

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Simone Buitendijk updates colleagues on next steps following the end of the marking and assessment boycott.

Dear colleagues, 

I am writing further to the announcement that the national marking and assessment boycott has ended and to set out the next steps for completing outstanding marking and assessment for our students here at the University of Leeds. 

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) voted in an e-ballot by a majority of 60% to end the current marking and assessment boycott at all institutions, including Leeds, with immediate effect from 6 September. 

Heads of School will work with colleagues who have participated in the boycott to prioritise all outstanding marking and assessment duties, and in particular the marks for final year students who have yet to receive the necessary results to enable them to graduate.  

To be clear, markers should prioritise marking for finalists, followed by all other outstanding marking. All marking must be completed and submitted by Monday 2 October 2023.  

I am sure we all appreciate the urgency of resolving outstanding marks in the interests of our students and to protect the integrity of the Leeds degree. Equally I recognise that this deadline will place additional pressures on both academic and professional services staff.  

Therefore, Heads of School will support colleagues in adjusting and managing their workloads to prioritise marking and, on the understanding that marks will be delivered by 2 October, the University has agreed the return of 50% of pay withheld during the first phase of the marking and assessment boycott as a gesture of goodwill. In addition, no further pay will be withheld in relation to the second phase of the marking and assessment boycott (the period from 21 August to the end of the boycott). 

Further details will be published and shared in due course, including advice relating to specific processes and additional questions.    

As a sector and as an institution, we continue to make positive progress on issues such as fixed-term contracts, improving equity, diversity and inclusion, tackling workloads and enhancing staff wellbeing. You can read an update on all these issues here.  

Over the last few months, colleagues have worked hard together to minimise the disruption to our students and protect the integrity of their awards. May I thank everyone who has contributed to this important work and for your continued effort over the next few weeks.  

Best wishes, 

Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor and President  

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