Industrial Action: Maintaining Standards
Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, University of Leeds
I know many students are worried about the strike action and what it means for you. And that’s understandable. I want to take this chance to reassure you about all the work the University is doing to ensure you get the education you deserve and that we create a university community that is truly fairer for all.
Our efforts over the coming weeks will be focused on ensuring that student education is the priority, supporting all heads of schools and their staff to support you, ensuring that any lost opportunities to learn are made up for, and that assessments are appropriate, based on what you are taught.
Those conversations have been happening for some time and will carry on throughout the period of industrial action to ensure we understand fully any effects on students and to do everything we can to minimise any disruption to your learning.
Our actions as a University community will continue to be guided by our underlying principles of protecting the interests of students, retaining the cohesion of our community, and protecting the standard of Leeds degrees and other qualifications.
The University has been working tirelessly to address many of the issues the unions are taking action over, some of which are in our gift to tackle.
We are already working to improve the working lives of our staff, as demonstrated through our Fairer Future For All pledges. These include a pledge to reduce short-term contracts and boost job security, evident in our current recruitment of 100 lecturers to bolster a 10-year curriculum development plan focused on student education.
To be a great university we need to be a great place to work. We must continue to work to ensure staff have a healthier, happier and even more fulfilled work life.
While USS pensions is a national issue and not something that the University of Leeds can address on its own, we are working with Universities UK – which is taking part in national pension negotiations – in a bid to find a solution that works for everyone.
I want to reassure you that help and advice is available to any student who is struggling as a result of the strike action, and the best place to go if you have concerns about your education is your school.
Speak to your Head of School or other academics and staff within the school because they have the greatest understanding of any impact the strikes might have on you and are best placed to listen, help and advise.
The quality of your education and the experience of all of our students remains my top priority and, together with all of my colleagues, we are doing everything we can to minimise any disruption to you in the coming days and weeks.