STAFF at Glasgow University have spoken out against the institution’s mitigation strategy amid an ongoing marking boycott.

On the day of law student graduations on Wednesday, June 21, 40 members of staff – both union and non-union members of the university’s law school – wrote to the university’s principal Anton Muscatelli to oppose the decision to award degrees in the midst of the University and Colleges Union's (UCU) marking and assessment boycott.

The university’s mitigation strategy has led to some students being awarded unclassified degrees, with their final degree award awaiting the completion of marking.

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Staff warn that this decision could severely impact these students’ ability to successfully seek employment or further study after graduation.

Some students have also been graded by staff members who may lack the necessary specialist knowledge to properly assess their work - calling into question whether the university has upheld academic integrity.

We previously reported that students have been left feeling "angry, disappointed and let down" by the university's mitigation policies.

A petition started by students has reached almost 1000 signatures.

The staff also highlighted in their letter the pressure the measures have placed on the school’s management, professional, and administrative staff.

The letter stated: “We, as members of staff of the University of Glasgow School of Law, wish to express our profound concerns about the manner in which our university has responded to the marking and assessment boycott undertaken nationally by UCU members.

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It continued: “As a result of the boycott, a large number of law courses across all levels have not been graded at all, or only incompletely. The university could have chosen to respond in a manner that ensured that the entire assessment process, which is so central to our school’s mission, remained fair and appropriate.

"It could also have shown some willingness to enter into a constructive dialogue with UCU, with a view to solving the ongoing industrial dispute over pensions, pay, equality and working conditions from which the boycott arises.

“Instead of doing that, the university has chosen to graduate or progress as many students as possible, by instructing ours and other schools to pursue a series of ‘mitigation strategies’ that disguise the real impact of the boycott.

"Meanwhile, the university has communicated that it will not even call on the employer body to re-enter negotiations with UCU.

It added: “The university’s strategy has consisted in waiving or diluting what heretofore were considered essential components of our assessment process. It has instructed that honours dissertations, the most important piece of work that our students must complete to culminate their studies, go without any form of second marking, with a weakened form of moderation by staff members who may lack the necessary specialist knowledge.

“Similarly, it has required that grades be released for courses where the normal moderation process has not taken place.

“ This will jeopardise the credibility of our institution, but most of all it may damage our students’ career prospects.

It went on: “Second, the university’s strategy also leads to severe inequity among our student body, which is perhaps our gravest concern. The same marking regime will not be applied to all.

“In addition, the university has shown a very worrying lack of transparency throughout the whole process.

“It is for all these reasons that we have chosen to speak out, in the hope that the university will reconsider its strategy and prioritise the interests of students, staff and the institution as a whole.”

A Glasgow University spokesperson said: "The marking and assessment boycott in no way impacts the quality of degrees - to suggest otherwise is disparaging to all the hard work and effort undertaken by our students.

"We are committed to ensuring that the highest academic standards are maintained.

“We would very much like to see talks begin on the non-pay issues (workload, contract types, pay equity and the pay spine), which are of concern to both employers and unions.”