Staff news

Statement from the Principal

A statement from the Principal about the marking and assessment boycott.

Following the recent announcement, I am writing to update colleagues on the welcome confirmation of exploratory talks taking place on Friday 14 July between the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and the University and College Union (UCU), along with the joint union representatives, aimed at resolving the long running dispute and bringing an end to the marking and assessment boycott.

The University recognises the disruption that the marking and assessment boycott has caused to students and that it is in the interests of Higher Education institutions, staff and students that the dispute is resolved. As we have previously confirmed, we fully support any discussions that can explore the current obstacles to a resolution and how the impasse on negotiations between UCEA and the UCU can be overcome. 

We also recognise that the difficulties in finding a resolution to the current dispute reflect entrenched and longstanding structural matters in the sector, and an independent review of sector affordability is welcomed.

The University and UCU Edinburgh are continuing discussions to identify actions which can be jointly agreed in relation to the marking and assessment boycott locally. We hope to communicate further on this in due course.

Furthermore, we will continue to work in partnership to address issues affecting staff, including the grade scale, equalities, casualisation and workload. Working in partnership, we have already made good progress on investing in staff, for example through the recently announced enhanced financial support for our international staff community applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain, ensuring that the University continues to attract the very best global talent.

We look forward to further discussions on how we can continue improving the staff and student experience at the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, The University of Edinburgh