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Strikes may continue into exam season as external examiners are being urged to resign


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Final year students may find their graduations delayed this year following the University and College Union’s call for external examinations to resign their positions.


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The pension dispute with Universities UK which has already seen staff walk out for 14 days, with the promise of further strikes in the summer term.

The union now want all its members who act as external examiners for any of the 65 universities on strike to quit their positions until the dispute is over.

External examiners are vital to the moderation of assignments and examinations. They are also involved in setting exam questions, meaning that at some universities, exams could be delayed.

Other students may find that there is a delay in the marking of their final assessments if alternative staff cannot be found.

General secretary of the UCU, Sally Hunt urged external examiners to give up their positions:

“We are calling on external examiners to resign their positions at those universities in dispute over plans to slash staff pensions. External examiners ensure the rigorous quality standards in our universities, which must be upheld.

“No student or university will want the quality of their degree called into question, so we advise universities' representatives to get back round the table with us as soon as possible to get this dispute resolved.”

This news comes after the University College Union announced a fourteen-day lecturers' strike which began in the penultimate week of February. 

The strike is in response to proposed pension cuts of up to 40% which will see academic salaries cut by an average of £10,000 per year. 

UCU branches voted to reject a proposed deal on Tuesday.

Features image courtesy of Dave Pickersgill 

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