The university marking boycott has important implications for employers hiring graduates this year, warns Institute of Student Employers (ISE).
In the ongoing dispute over pay and working conditions, the Universities and College Union (UCU) asked all their members to cease marking until October 2023. Unlike like last year, when 43 campuses were affected, this year staff at 147 universities are taking action.
Stephen Isherwood, chief executive at ISE said: “While some universities may award a degree based on work that has been or will be marked, many students could graduate this year with a delay to their final grade.
“Graduate employers who make offers conditional on a student’s final degree classification should make contingency plans. This may include basing offers on existing grades, amending offer terms and conditions or continuing as planned and assessing the situation when the degree is finally awarded.
“Employers of international students via the Skilled Worker Visa may face additional delays if the degree has not been awarded. It’s important to pay close attention to an international student’s visa situation and monitor Home Office guidance.
“Students on degree apprenticeships may also be affected. Depending on the type of programme, the final degree may be awarded by an institution, but if the end-point-assessment does not take place then the Institute of Apprenticeship requirements may not be met, so students and employers may have to wait.
“All employers should consider the difficult situation a student may have been placed in through no fault of their own, and the relevant employment regulations.
“We also recommend that employers review the details of offered students to see who may be affected and contact the relevant institution’s career service if there is a concern.”
In most cases, ISE doesn’t expect the boycott to impact the offers made to students or the onboarding process. If students have any questions, it recommends they contact their future employer to make them aware of their situation and seek advice.
Students should also check the arrangements put in place by their university and be aware of the marking and awarding options.