Update from Brighton Students' Union on the Marking and Assessment Boycott.
This is a brief update from Brighton Students’ Union in relation to the ongoing Marking and Assessment Boycott and the actions that we are taking.
The Marking and Assessment Boycott is currently still taking place by members of the University College Union (UCU), with marking in some courses being severely impacted. We know that lots of students still do not have their final grades and are not able to progress to jobs or further study or are having to progress to the next academic year without their final grades.
We have been lobbying the University to implement actions to limit the impact on students and compensate them for their inconvenience and distress.
Marking: We have met with the University who have informed us that marking is still being undertaken by both internal and external markers. They are hoping to have all work marked by September. We are asking the University to provide a more detailed update on their progress to students as soon as possible as we are unhappy with the lack of communication students have received so far.
Summer Re-sits: The University have informed us that any summer resit work will be marked on time. Whilst we are hopeful that this happens, we are asking them to lay out their contingency plans to students as soon as possible.
Support for Trailing Modules: Some students might be trailing modules into the new academic year as they may not have passed all the modules for which they have not yet received marks. The University has assured us that there will be proactive support in place to aid those students in managing their workloads. We have again requested that any provisions being put in place are communicated with students impacted as soon as possible.
Graduation Costs Coverage: We requested that the University covered the costs of graduation including tickets, gown hire and photography which the University agreed to do.
‘We will offer graduation free of charge to any student graduating with either an ordinary degree or a diploma of higher education as a result of the marking and assessment boycott. This includes:
Your graduation ticket
Two guest tickets
If you have not yet paid for graduation, you will not be charged. If you have paid already, you will be refunded automatically.’
These refunds should have been processed automatically. We have since become aware by our Course Reps in the schools that not all students have received their refunds. If you have been affected by the marking and assessment boycott and haven't received your refund EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org to request it now. Don't miss out on what you are entitled to!
Financial Compensation and Complaints Process: We understand that many of you have experienced distress and inconvenience during this period. We lobbied the University for a £1000 compensation payment for all affected students. The University has so far regrettably rejected this request. We will continue to push for blanket compensation for all students effected.
If you have been adversly impacted, then we encourage that you to make complaint and request appropriate compensation individually. This might be for stress and anxiety or potential loss of income, increased costs etc. We have create a comprehensive guide to making a complaint for the marking and assessment boycott which you can find here.
Brighton Students’ Union will support you through the complaints process. Once you have read through our guide, if you would like to speak to one of our advisors for further support email BSUsupport@brighton.ac.uk.
Job Opportunities & Further Study: The University has also promised ‘For those of you seeking employment or pursuing further study at Masters of other postgraduate level, we will provide a letter for prospective employers, professional bodies and other academic institutions describing the circumstances of the marking and assessment boycott. This will include information on how we are ensuring academic standards are upheld, and the next steps and timescales for the award of your degree.’ However, we have been informed that students have not received these letters automatically from the University.
The University have now informed us that students in the School of Art and Media should have received these letters automatically. If you haven't, please get in touch with your school office if you would like one.
Apparently if you are a student in the School of Humanities, you need to request one individually from your school office. We recommend that all impacted students request one as it may be useful as you seek employment or further study opportunities.
Financial Hardship: We also know from our conversations with students that students are facing increased financial hardship due to not being able to get a job and other issues such as visa costs for Intenational students. We encourage anyone undergoing financial hardship to contact the Student Advice team at email@example.com. Again, we also encourage you to make a complaint to see financial compensation using our guide.
Mental Wellbeing Support: We understand that the ongoing situation has taken its toll on some student’s mental wellbeing. If you find yourself struggling, please remember that the University support services including: Student Support and Guidance Tutors (SSGTs), the Togetherall or you can reach out to the University's counselling service through these webpages: Need to speak to someone (brighton.ac.uk)
We understand the frustration and anger this continued uncertainty is bringing and we are sorry that we are unable to provide you with better news. We will continue to push the University to get the remaining marks to you as soon as possible, and appropriately compensate you for the stress and inconvenience it has caused.