One student wrote to the faculty heads to express their frustration at delaysCmglee / Wikimedia Commons

The History Faculty will finish releasing marks almost a month after the deadline set by the University, students have been told.

The heads of the Faculty, Mary Laven and Nick Guyatt, emailed students earlier this week to set out the timeline of exam boards, put in place to clear the marking backlog following the end of the Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB).

Students have expressed their frustration at the impacts of a lack of grades on their futures.

The final exam board (HPOL IA/IB) will meet on the 13th of November. With marks scheduled to be released to students “within two days” of these meetings, students will have received a full set of results by the 15th of that month. Earlier this month, the University notified all faculties that it expects all outstanding marking duties to be completed by the 16th of October.

The Faculty’s delayed marking schedule has been approved by the University, a spokesperson told Varsity. “The History Faculty was heavily affected by the Marking and Assessment Boycott but is committed to processing students’ marks as quickly as possible, without jeopardising its usual high standards of thoroughness”, they said.

Professors Laven and Guyatt listed a number of reasons for the delay in the email, which included the double-marking of “most” of the Faculty’s assessments, the fact that “virtually all” of the Faculty’s examining took place during the MAB, and the shift to open-book exams following the pandemic.

One History finalist told Varsity that a magic circle law firm refused to view their application due to their lack of final grades. Writing to Faculty Chair Mary Laven, this student said that they feel “at a significant disadvantage compared to other applicants”.

The student requested that any available marks be released immediately, and said: “The distress this [delay] has caused students is clearly not apparent to the Faculty. There is simply no reason for the Faculty not to have already convened exam boards”.

Professor Laven’s response stated that marks cannot be released before being approved by the exam board, but apologised for the impact of the MAB on students: “The lack of these results is of course through no fault of your own and I am very sorry if employers fail to recognise this”, Professor Laven wrote.


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The student also contacted Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education Bhaskar Vira, who stressed that the University’s acceptance of the Faculty’s marking timeline was based on a “detailed submission”, and discussed by the University’s General Board.

Professor Vira similarly apologised for the “considerable stress and anxiety” felt by students due to the MAB, and offered a letter of explanation to prospective employers.

Cambridge UCU told Varsity that the Union “had no involvement with (or advance knowledge of) the History Faculty’s successful application to the General Board for an extension to its examining deadlines”.

The Geography Faculty has notified students of its intention to publish marks in the week beginning the 16th of October, while the English Faculty aims to release results on Monday the 23rd. 

Professors Vira, Laven, and Guyatt have been contacted for comment.