Dozens of Goldsmiths students are at risk of losing job offers and Masters places after professors protesting job cuts refused to mark their work in time for graduation.
More than 100 students who were due to graduate on Wednesday were told this month they could not attend the ceremony alongside their classmates due to a grading boycott.
Professors are organizing the boycott to protest the university’s plans to cut costs by laying off 46 staff members.
Students affected by the labor dispute have told the Telegraph they do not expect to graduate until September at the earliest, meaning some will have to defer applications for masters degrees and some graduate jobs .
“I’m furious and stunned”
Charlotte Abell-Roberts, 20, a media and communications student from Berkshire who was forced to cancel planned graduation celebrations with friends and family, said: “It’s quite heartbreaking. we had three years of strikes. We weren’t taught anything so I worked really hard to get my degree and I’m not even going to get it.”
A parent of another pupil affected by the boycott said: “I am furious and bewildered that Goldsmiths could let this happen. These pupils have worked so hard over the past three years, facing lockdown, then strikes and doing all that was asked of them under incredibly difficult circumstances.
“Then to get an email a few weeks ago on a Friday night telling them that they ultimately won’t graduate because of this grading boycott is mind-boggling.”
The Office for Students, the university regulator, said it was “extremely concerned” about the impact on students.
“Universities and colleges must act”
“Students should not have their future put on hold due to a grading hiatus,” a spokesperson said. “Universities and colleges must take steps to ensure students receive their grades – and can graduate as expected – without delay.”
The tagging boycott, which began in May, is led by the Universities and Colleges Union.
Jo Grady, the union’s general secretary, said the boycott was “the last resort for a group of employees desperately trying to save their jobs and their departments”.
A spokesperson for Goldsmiths said: “We are very sorry that a number of students are not getting their grades in time for graduation ceremonies this summer due to the ongoing industry action.
“We are doing everything we can to get these students to affect their grades as soon as possible, providing them with support for their well-being and organizing subsequent graduation ceremonies.”