Date published: April 13, 2018
Strike action update for students
Following the Easter vacation we want to provide some further guidance and reassurance to all of our students affected by the strike action and to update you on our plans to address the impact this may have had on your learning.
The questions below are specifically to address concerns about forthcoming assessments and are in addition to the student ‘FAQs’ published here, which will be updated regularly with the most recent information we have.
We will continue to work hard to minimise the impact on you - please check back on these pages regularly for further updates and regularly check your emails and Blackboard for all notifications relating to strike action.
Will missed teaching be provided?
The University has collated information about scheduled teaching activities that did not go ahead as a result of strike action. Employment law means that striking staff do not have to alert the University in advance that they plan to join strike action, so you may not have found out until the day of your class that it was not taking place. Striking staff have up to seven calendar days to inform the University that they are striking after the first day of strike action. This is why it has taken us some time to be able to identify affected sessions. Not all staff who took strike action did so on all strike days so it was not possible to predict from one day to the next whether classes would go ahead.
Schools are now creating specific plans for each module affected by strike action. Plans will consider the practicality of offering replacement teaching events for your module(s) taking into account the availability of staff, facilities and the impact of this upon your assessment and other scheduled learning tasks.
If replacement teaching cannot be provided for your module we will look at alternatives such as the use of additional tutorials, using your regular contact days and the provision of digital online materials. We are also looking at providing additional resource to extend the access hours in key facilities to ensure that support from technicians and other vital resources are available outside of our usual hours. Your School will be able to advise you of these options once the plan for your affected module has been confirmed.
Will deadlines for assignments and exams be altered due to the strike action?
If you had a class-based or practical assessment during the strike period that did not go ahead because of the action, steps will be taken to seek to arrange a new date for this to take place. You will be given at least ten working days notice of the new date to allow you to prepare.
The scheduled exam period in May will go ahead as planned.
If assignment deadline dates are changed, you will be given at least ten working days notice of this. If you are not informed of a change then you should submit your work by the original deadline date.
Any adjustments to assessment will take account of the impact of any delay in delivery of content, access to support, preparation time and scheduling of other planned assessments.
Will my work still be marked?
Yes, work will still be marked and feedback provided using the same standards and to the same rigour as always. It is possible that, due to the strike action, your feedback may be delayed. We would expect all feedback to be provided within 15 working days of submission, if a member of staff is taking strike action these days would not be counted as working days and the period until you receive marks may therefore be delayed.
The University could invoke Emergency Regulations to ensure that you are not disadvantaged if strike action affected your programme.
I’m worried that I have missed too much teaching to do well in my assignments and exams.
We will do all that we reasonably can to ensure that you have access to the learning necessary to meet your programme outcomes. Where necessary, alterations to submission dates for coursework will be made to allow you to prepare appropriately. Examinations will progress as planned.
Examination Boards will take care to review the performance of any assessments where strike action may have impacted upon performance to ensure that students are not disadvantaged.
Will I still be able to graduate or to progress to my next year/level of study?
Yes. All work will be assessed using the same standards as always.
Some courses are subject to professional body requirements e.g. nursing. These are external requirements that we have to make sure we meet. Your programme leader will be able to advise if this applies to you. We will prioritise arrangements for mitigating any content critical to achievement of external accreditation or recognition.
The University could invoke Emergency Regulations to ensure that you are not disadvantaged if strike action affects you or your course.
I’m worried about the impact the strikes are having on my studies and how this will affect my preparation for exams. What support is available?
We know that this is a worrying and uncertain time and that the strikes may have added to this, therefore we will be increasing the availability of our Wellbeing Team to help support those who need it. If you are experiencing stress or anxiety in relation to upcoming exams, then you might want to consider attending one of the sessions the team is running in the coming weeks.
In addition, the Library run a number of workshops to help students prepare for examinations and other assessments. We would encourage you to find out about these here.