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Strike-hit Ulster University students may have marks increased


Ulster University’s new campus site in central Belfast

Ulster University’s new campus site in central Belfast

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Ulster University’s new campus site in central Belfast

Some students at Ulster University (UU) could have exam marks increased if they have been affected by strike action, the BBC reports.

Due to strike action by the University and College Union (UCU) a number of classes at UU were cancelled earlier this year.

The university has analysed the marks for affected courses to see if they are lower than in previous years.

A UU spokesperson said: “Our academic staff worked diligently to minimise the impact on student assessment during those challenging weeks.

"As an additional supportive measure, the university conducted automatic statistical analysis of affected modules to assess if cohort averages were lower than might otherwise be expected. 

“This process compared a module’s mark average to the module mark averages from the previous three years, with appropriate controls in place.

“Automated module mark uplifts were applied only where the marks were lower than in any of the previous three years and where this was inconsistent with overall student performance for that cohort.”

The adjusted marks were brought to the Boards of Examiners, who take the final decisions regarding marks and degree classifications.

The spokesperson added: “This process was developed in conjunction with academic staff, endorsed by the University Senate, which includes staff and student representation, in line with established academic governance procedures.”

However, the UCU has criticised the move, saying lecturers had already ensured students were not disadvantaged by the industrial action.

In an email to members, reported by the BBC, the union called the move “completely unacceptable.”

Belfast Telegraph