Guido wants to know what the Department for Education is going to do about professors refusing to mark final year exams. It seems that the government either doesn’t care, or doesn’t realise that tens of thousands of students won’t get a degree this year… or potentially ever. Rishi did say that universities are “full of people who don’t vote Tory”…so perhaps he’s not interested.
Having ushered in as many young people into universities as possible, it seems baffling that the Tories fail to scrutinise – or even mention – the fact these students may have wasted 3 years worth of time and money. Professors are not unknown to strike; usually they at least bother to mark finalist’s papers. Shouldn’t the government attempt to solve the problem? Obviously this is one strike where they can’t draft in the army to do the marking. They could force universities to get external markers, perhaps get the papers marked in India?
UPDATE: Robert Halfon, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, gets in touch to say:
“After struggling through the covid years, students are now being let down by the UCU through this damaging strike action.
Whilst I appreciate some of the work Universities are doing to deal with this – in very difficult circumstances – students have a right to graduate on time, with fully marked exam papers. This must be the priority and I am working with the sector to see what they are doing to look after students affected by this.”
Encouraging words… time will tell.