With the news that staff strikes could continue for longer than planned if a solution is not found, some departments at the University of Bristol have begun to announce measures to mitigate the potential impact on students.
Measures announced so far have included extending coursework deadlines and modifying content in future assessments, although not all departments have announced such action.
An essay deadline for third-year History students has been pushed back from Tuesday 6th March to Monday 12th March to give students more time to contact staff members while talks are underway to potentially push back the dissertation deadline if action continues. The Department of History have also said there is a group in charge of assessing the impact of the strikes on degrees and assessments.
An email to third-year History students reads: 'In light of UCU industrial action, the Faculty of Arts is now starting to adjust essay deadlines to help mitigate the impact of strike action' and that 'and similar changes are being made to summative assessment deadlines across the Faculty.'
Here, 6 staff members at the University of Bristol tell Epigram why they are striking.— Epigram (@EpigramPaper) February 22, 2018
'I can’t afford to strike. Yet for all of the reasons given above, nor can I afford not to'https://t.co/H44RAa01bT pic.twitter.com/QqQ32yVNJO
Joe Jones, the President of History Society, told Epigram: ‘I think it is worth noting that the University admin staff are putting in a lot of work to find the best option for students in light of the industrial action that is taking place over the next few weeks. I think a six-day extension for History 3rd Year's upcoming essay is very fair and reasonable.
‘I'm sure that, should the strike action continue, they will put every effort into ensuring that the impact on students is minimised for future assessments too. The department are doing all they can, and any further issues can be raised with Jonny or Sarah, our Third Year Reps.’
Second- year English students have also received an essay extension from the 8th March to the 12th of March.
Meanwhile, second-year Theatre students have been told future assessments in one unit will be modified to reflect the content they have been taught, removing content missed due to strike action.
An email was sent to all students in the School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience saying that while ‘there will be no general extensions to coursework deadlines’, students can request an extension if they feel their ‘ability to submit coursework has been affected by the industrial action.’
Students in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies have been told that the decision whether assessments will be modified will be taken ‘after the strike is over’ and that ’any impact on student work, progress, and classification of degrees that arises from the strike will be considered on a unit-by-unit basis by the board of examiners to ensure that students are not disadvantages by the strike’.
The University of Bristol have said that strike action will not be counted as extenuating circumstances: 'If any courses are affected by strike action we will address this on a unit-by-unit basis, not via individual extenuating circumstances claims'.
The University adds: 'At the moment we expect all assessments and exams scheduled after Easter to take place as planned', although UCU have warned strikes could continue into the exam period if no solution is found by UUK.
This article will be updated as more information is released.
Featured image: Epigram / Cameron Scheijde