BREAKING: Cardiff SU President says some students “will not be able to graduate this year” due to strikes

A leaked email obtained by Gair Rhydd. Source: Anonymous

By Tomos Evans and Charlotte King

Cardiff University Students’ Union President Jackie Yip has responded to a leaked email in which it is revealed that some students will be unable to graduate this academic year. 

Yip stated that some Cardiff University students will not be able to graduate at the end of this academic year due to recently-announced strike action by the University and College Union (UCU), in an email sent to Gair Rhydd by an anonymous source.

In an email chain with the Presidents of approximately 70 other Students’ Unions across the country, Yip stated:

“Confidentially, further strike action will now mean some of my students will have missed so much content that they will not be able to graduate this year, even if there are mitigating actions put in place. We have not told students this as we do not want to cause panic and behind closed doors, I am doing everything I can to protect my students. I am sure this may be the case in some of your Unions.”

The leaked email does not reveal how many students will be affected or which courses.

“We want to highlight all potential real impacts”

In response to the comments made in the leaked email, SU President Jackie Yip,  said, “In November we were mandated to support the strike action by our students, we have been working closely with UCU since to promote their cause.

“As a Students’ Union our priority will always be our students, both those that will be campaigning on the picket line and those who are concerned about the teaching they are missing.

“We want to highlight all potential real impacts this second round of strikes could have on our students. There’s no clear definitive answer on what these impacts will be, that’s why we haven’t spoken publicly about this yet.

“We are of course, working to mitigate any impacts and continue to lobby the University and national stakeholders in bringing this strike action to a close with a good result for all parties involved.

“Students wanting to find out more information from the University should attend a Town Hall meeting with the Vice-Chancellor on Wednesday at 12pm in The Great Hall.”

“The University’s number one priority is to support our students”

A Cardiff University spokesperson said: “The University’s number one priority is to support our students throughout the strike action.

“We continue to work alongside our academic Schools to manage the forthcoming dispute. As part of this work we need to plan for the worst possible outcomes in order to avoid them.

“We are deeply appreciative of the academics who have supported us in this endeavour and will carefully monitor the situation in the forthcoming weeks of industrial action.

“We continue to urge UCU to engage constructively with on-going and continued discussions in order to avoid further strike action.”

A spokesperson for the University and College Union said: “The support from students on the picket lines, through social media and on campus between strikes has been phenomenal, and a little overwhelming.  We are so pleased to have received this support and appreciate that students understand how our working conditions are their learning conditions.  We are on the same side in this dispute and want to reassure students we are doing all we can to get it sorted out.  We would ask students to continue to put pressure on their vice-chancellors to work with us to try and resolve the disputes.”

“I highly doubt that will be the case”

Chris Pearce, a student rep at the School of History, Archaeology and Religion (SHARE), told Gair Rhydd: “I highly doubt that will be the case.  It would [be] a catastrophic PR issue for the University, and it’s in their best interests to ensure that all students graduate with the degrees that they have earned”.

He continued, “I’m awaiting a response from Professor Amanda Coffey, Pro VC Student Experience and Academic Standards to see what the University will do to ensure students are awarded the correct degree classifications”.

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