59% of undergraduate finalists have graduated this summerImages George Rex / Wikimedia Commons

The University has told staff to complete all “outstanding marking and examining duties” by the 16th of October, following the anticipated end of the Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB) on the 30th of September.

The University expects marks to be published to students within 48 hours of the October 16th deadline. Finalists and Master’s students will be prioritised, said the University in an email to all students, and individual faculties may apply for an extension to this deadline.

Only 59% of undergraduate students who “should have graduated in the summer” did so, Kamal Munir, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for University and Community Engagement, told all staff in an email last week. Only 30% of non-finalist undergraduates have been classed, Professor Munir also noted. Only 45% of nine-month MPhils have received their final marks.

Responding to these statistics, Cambridge UCU told Varsity that the union is “crucially aware of the impact that the MAB has had on finalists”.

“No member has taken the decision to engage in the MAB lightly. We regret that the dispute has not been settled already, and this has happened because the employers’ association, UCEA, has proven extremely intransigent,” Cambridge UCU continued.

Cambridge UCU attempted to negotiate a suspension of the MAB with the UCEA in July, they stressed.

These statistics “illustrate just how much disruption and uncertainty the boycott has generated for thousands of students,” said Fergus Kirman, Undergraduate SU President and a member of the University’s Industrial Action Taskforce. Kirman continued: “I know that the leadership of both the University and the UCU are acutely aware of how badly students have been let down”.

“As the boycott comes to an end, it’s essential that exam boards happen as soon as possible, so that students in all years can progress to the next stage of their lives. Any further delay would be unacceptable,” Kirman told Varsity.

The University told students today (05/09) that it anticipates a window of “up to six weeks” between the end of the MAB and any new boycott mandate from the UCU, in which this marking can take place.

When notifying staff of this timescale last week, Professor Munir recognised that “these deadlines will place additional pressure on both academic and professional services staff”.

Professor Munir told staff: “We cannot keep these students waiting any longer once the MAB mandate has come to an end: they must be allowed to progress to the next stages in their lives as soon as possible”.


Mountain View

Finalists urge UCU to ease impacts of marking boycott

Staff that complete all outstanding marking by the 30th of September will have any pay deductions imposed due to the MAB fully refunded, the Pro-Vice Chancellor wrote.

“I am extremely sorry about the impacts some of you have experienced due to the boycott, and hope that we are finally approaching the end of this period of uncertainty and stress,” Baskhar Vira, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, told students.

A UCU consultation on whether to end the MAB before September 30th was due to end on the 1st of this month, but these results have not yet been announced.