Senior Cardiff University lecturer Andy Williams outside the University on the picket lines. Image credit: Aarthy Balaganesh

Cardiff University students may face graduation without degree results

Some students’ work remains unmarked as the University and College Union buckles down on its marking and assessment boycott 

CARDIFF University is going ahead with this year’s graduation day despite many students not knowing their actual grades or results. 

Since April 20 members of the University and College Union (UCU) across 145 universities in the UK have been on a marking and assessment boycott

This means that some staff have stopped doing all work related to students’ summative assessments – exams and coursework.

As a result, some students will attend graduation day unaware of whether they have actually passed the assessments needed to obtain their degree.

Ffion, not her real name, is a fourth-year student at Cardiff University.

Ffion wanted to remain anonymous in this article as she fears her criticism of the boycott may have a negative impact on her completed work which is yet to be marked.

She said: “It will be fun to celebrate my achievement but it’s just a bit disappointing that I won’t know what my achievement is. 

“It just feels a bit gimmicky, like it’s just for show, because it doesn’t represent the hard work I have put in. “

Members of Cardiff’s UCU plan to protest outside the graduation ceremony on the day by handing out UCU sashes for students to wear at the ceremony. 

Senior Cardiff University lecturer and UCU spokesman, Andy Williams, said: “We don’t want to be going out year after year disrupting our students’ learning experiences in the way that we have but we have been driven to the marking boycott by this kind of uncaring, lack of response from our employers.” 

Senior Cardiff University lecturer Andy Williams speaking at a UCU protest. Image credit: Andy Williams

Members of the UCU say they are fighting for secure employment contracts, the end of pay gaps, fair wages, and reasonable workloads. 

Ffion said: “I don’t really support the boycott because I feel that us as students are the main victims of it. 

“It doesn’t seem to hurt the Vice Chancellor as much as it hurts us.”

A Cardiff University spokesman said: “This is a national dispute over levels of pay and working conditions. The University cannot solve these issues independently.

“We are committed to the joint national consultation process and to finding an affordable solution that recognises the highly valued contribution of our staff.

“We respect the right to take industrial action and appreciate how difficult this situation is for our staff.

“We know our staff look forward to Graduation and to celebrating their students’ successes. We hope that most of our staff will avoid taking action that will have a negative impact on students’ celebrations.”