We are getting increasingly concerned about the threats to academic standards posed by the university’s measures to ‘mitigate’ the effects of our marking and assessment boycott (MAB). Scroll down for our advice on supporting the MAB around exam boards.
Here are some of the ways the university is trying to erode assessment standards and quality assurance processes:
- Some module grades may be processed without second marking or full moderation.
- The exam board meeting may be deemed quorate without all module representatives present, and even if only the chair alone is there, combined with scope for the chair to be anyone with an ‘understanding of the marking process’.
- Modules with missing marks may be skipped over at exam board meetings (to be addressed later at a ‘reconvened’ exam board).
- Some module grades will be calculated on single assessment items (rather than the complete set) if it is considered that learning outcomes have been met.
- Some modules are being ‘discounted’.
- There are reports that some students will graduate with ‘unclassified degrees’.
- There is a risk that students in some subjects will be able to graduate while others do not.
- In addition, those in earlier years will be able to progress with even less modules/credits than those required to graduate, and will also miss out on the valuable feedback/feedforward that will help them to improve for future years.
In the light of this threat to standards, Cardiff UCU members can valuably contribute to the MAB by either (a) boycotting exam boards entirely (i.e. not turning up) or (b) attending exam boards and persistently speaking up, to uphold academic standards. Which of these is more disruptive may vary depending on the circumstances.
(a) Boycotting exam boards
- Boycotting exam boards will send a signal that you do not accept the ‘mitigations’ that the University has pushed through.
- If you are not already participating in the MAB, you can join the MAB at any point and you may feel that the exam board is a good time to join.
(b) Attending exam boards to uphold standards
- Another way of contributing to our marking and assessment boycott is to attend exam boards, uphold academic standards as stringently as possible, and forcefully refuse to accept the ‘mitigation’ measures that the university is trying to push through.
- If you are attending school exam boards, we encourage you to voice your concerns in relation to the progression and/or degree award indicated for each and every student.
- Doing this reflects the fact a core part of all of our jobs is to uphold academic standards and to protect the quality of our degrees.
We urge our employer to settle the dispute. We are ready to enter into negotiations at any time.
Contributing to the local fighting fund
Please keep donating to the local fighting fund if you can, and share the details with others.
Donate via GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/cardiff-ucu-marking-and-assessment-fighting-fund
Or donate via direct bank transfer:
Account Name: UCU Cardiff LA12 Fighting Fund
Sort code: 60-83-01
Account no: 20341260
Or send a cheque (payable to “UCU Cardiff LA12 Fighting Fund”) to:
49b Park Place
We have so far raised a total of £15,175 (£10,775 from our GoFundMe and £4,400 in direct bank transfers) – over three quarters of our target of £20,000!
Cardiff UCU Executive Committee