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MAB Student Resources

Published: 26th April, 2023

UCU Marking and Assessment Boycott: Info for students at the University of Leicester

We are members of the University and College Union (UCU). We are your seminar tutors, professional services staff, and lecturers. We teach you, we support and guide you, and we do the research you rely on. 

Along with thousands of other UCU members across all UK universities, we are taking part in a ‘Marking and Assessment Boycott’. 

A Marking and Assessment Boycott is when university workers stop doing all work relating to students’ summative assessments

We will carry on doing all other aspects of our jobs, including teaching and supporting your learning and development. You can still contact us as usual if you have any problems or questions about your studies or personal welfare. We will be here for you.

At Leicester, staff have been threatened with 50% continuous deductions for participating in the MAB, despite this being disproportionate to the percentage marking and assessments contribute to their workload. These deductions are cruel and excessive, and will further impact staff already struggling due to the cost living crisis.

Our Marking and Assessment Boycott started on 20th April 2023 and it will continue until university bosses make us a fair offer.

Why is this happening?

Just as earlier in the year when we went on strike for 12 days, we are asking university bosses for the following:

  1. Secure employment with a stable income, so we can plan our lives – not precarious, temporary or hourly-paid jobs.
  2. Eliminate equality pay gaps for gender, race and disability.
  3. Pay us enough so we can all afford the rising cost of living.
  4. Reduce our workload to a survivable level.

Despite our strike action, our employers still haven’t made us a fair offer. 

The Marking and Assessment Boycott is our absolute last resort. We have stopped marking assessments so university bosses will listen to us, not in an attempt to harm students.

We want to find a resolution to this dispute and get back to normal as soon as possible.

But it is now in the hands of our employers.

How will this impact students?

During the Marking and Assessment Boycott:

  • Some of your summative assessment results this academic year may be affected. You might not get your marks until after the marking boycott ends. 
  • If you are in the final year of your degree, as an undergraduate or postgraduate student, this may mean your graduation is delayed.
  • There might be delays to official decisions about whether you can progress to the next year of your course.

Once university bosses make a fair offer to us, we will resume our marking and assessment activities so that students can receive marks and be able to progress and/or graduate.

This is now in the hands of our employers.

Why should students support us?

Staff working conditions are your learning conditions.

We are trying to protect the entire university community – including you – from year after year of harmful reforms that have damaged our morale and made it almost impossible to do our jobs properly. 

We care deeply about students. We want you to be able to learn and thrive. You are the reason we come into work each day.

We are extremely worried that if we do nothing now, university staff will face impossible workloads and a poorer quality of life. Students’ experience will only get worse, even though you (and your younger siblings) will still have to pay extortionate fees and get into debt.

We are worried that women, ethnic minorities, disabled people and working-class people who work here will face even more disadvantages.

The Marking and Assessment Boycott is now the only way we can achieve a fairer and more equal university, for the benefit of students and staff alike. 

What can you do to help end the dispute?

  • Email our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nishan Canagarajah (, explaining why he should meet our demands and take steps to address casualisation, pay equality, pay, and workload.
  • Tell others that you support the current UCU Marking and Assessment Boycott in person and via social media using #ucuRISING and tagging the branch @leicesterucu
  • Request a refund of your student fees.
  • Tell your tutors and lecturers, via email or in person, that you will support them if they take part in the marking and assessment boycott.

Student Resources

See all resources here.

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