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Response to disruption caused by industrial action

The University and College Union has announced the results of its recent ballot over the ongoing pension dispute and proposed pay settlement. Branches at 39 English higher education providers have reached the 50 per cent turnout threshold and voted in favour of industrial action.

We have today published a note setting out our approach to the impact of disruption caused by industrial action on students. This does not impose additional requirements beyond what is already in our regulatory framework but sets out areas where conditions of registration may apply, and where failures may amount to breaches of conditions.

Read the briefing note

We will be coordinating with organisations such as the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) to identify providers where significant numbers of student complaints are upheld, as well as monitoring reported events and notifications from third parties.

Although we are unable to respond to complaints from individual students, we have published guidance on what students should do if they have concerns that their studies have been disrupted. In the event of significant disruption, we will be working to inform students of the options available to them to resolve issues that occur.

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the OfS, said:

‘It is not for the OfS to take sides in industrial disputes. But we would urge universities and colleges to do all they can to avoid disruption for students, and to minimise the impact of industrial action on their studies.

‘We will be monitoring the situation closely and will take action where we find that registered providers have failed to comply with the requirements of the regulatory framework to protect the interests of students.’

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