Student News and Events

News and events for University of Brighton students

Industrial action by UCU 25 November to 4 December

Message to all students from, Professor Ruth Whittaker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students)

Some of you may have seen the recent media coverage of a planned strike by staff who are members of the University and College Union (UCU). This is a dispute following the breakdown of negotiations over pensions and pay that is undertaken nationally on behalf of all universities. Resolution for this dispute also rests at the national level and not with individual universities.

This strike is part of a national dispute about pay and pensions involving the lecturers’ union UCU. There are 60 universities out of 147 institutions where academic staff have voted to take strike action over pay and/or pensions. The University of Brighton is one of the institutions where this is the case, and as such we have been notified that there will be strike action at this University from 25 November to 4 December followed by action short of a strike until 29 April 2020.

While fully supporting the right to take industrial action, our immediate focus is on taking all of the steps that we can to minimise the impact of the strike action on you, our students.

We anticipate only limited disruption in most of our schools. UCU members who are striking do not need to inform the University in advance that they are doing this.

Please check your personalised timetable for cancellations on a daily basis during the strike period and look out for studentcentral announcements. Your Head of School will contact you should they believe that there may be sustained disruption as a result of strike action in your School.

Colleagues across the University are working together to ensure that we minimise the impact of the strike on your educational experience. I know, for example, that some of you will have concerns about submission of assignments during the strike period. We have already taken action so that where assessment deadlines fall during this time (25 November- 4 December) the assessment deadline will now be extended until 6 December. Any assessments following the strike will not be based on learning and teaching missed during strike action.

Should you be on a course where attendance needs to be monitored and reported and you find that you have been impacted by the strike we will ensure that this is noted and you will not be disadvantaged.

If you are a Tier 4 student, please be assured that should any of your contact points, including classes, seminars, lectures or meetings with tutors and supervisors be cancelled, this will be recorded as an authorised absence and have no impact on your attendance record or visa status.

During this period all university facilities such as school offices, libraries, halls and catering outlets will be operating as normal. If you have concerns about a particular specialist facility please get in touch with your School to confirm the situation.

It is likely that picket lines will be in place in a number of locations during the strike and we recognise that many of you may not have experienced this before. It is therefore important that you know that you are fully entitled to cross a picket line and to go about your business as normal.

Any questions that you may have, in particular those relating to teaching, seminars, tutorials or assessments, should in the first instance be directed to colleagues in your School office who I know will do all that they can to help you.

We have also produced a set of FAQs, which can be found on this Student News and Events blog post.

I very much hope that I have been able to address some of the concerns that you may have. Should you have any questions or further concerns you can also email

If you feel however that you wish to make a complaint you can find the relevant information on the Student Contract web page.

Best wishes,

Professor Ruth Whittaker Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students)

Robin Coleman • 15 November 2019

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