69 institutions across the UK will be partaking in a boycott at their university as academics protest an expected deficit in their pension scheme. It is believed to heavily impact thousands of students and potentially prevent those from graduating. Scholars will be refusing any marking meaning that coursework and planned exams will be cancelled. A representative from Universities UK has stated that, "We are disappointed that the UCU has decided to pursue a damaging course of industrial action aimed directly at disrupting students' education." Further to this, Universities UK has said that "taking industrial action will not make the substantial scheme deficit and the risks to the future viability of the scheme go away."
The marking boycott is planned to begin on Thursday November 6 and will continue indefinitely, says University and College Union (UCU), until it has been resolved. UCU balloted 45% of members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) at 69 institutions in order to determine the support for strikes. Results showed 78% support the boycott with a further 87% favouring action just short of walkouts. Sally Hunt, who is UCU general secretary said: "The employers failed to convince us of the need for their dramatic changes or the reasons behind the methodology for its deficit reduction plan ["¦] We hope the employers will come back to the table for genuine negotiations aimed at resolving the enormous gap between our two positions."