Industrial action at Sussex

Some staff at the University of Sussex and many other universities are taking industrial action from 23 May

What’s happening

A trade union representing some University staff (University and College Union or UCU) has announced a marking and assessment boycott as part of their national action.

This is happening from Monday 23 May.

We will do all that we can to ensure we mitigate any impact on your education and assessment and examination results caused by a marking and assessment boycott activity at Sussex.

Your assessments

Your assessments and examinations have been amended to ensure you are not assessed on any content that may not have been delivered because of industrial action in March.

You should submit your assessments and sit your exams as usual. 

Many students will not be affected by industrial action and their assessments and exams will be marked as usual. For those students who may be impacted, we have contingencies in place to ensure that marking will continue.


We will be implementing a range of mechanisms for ensuring that marking can take place properly, maintaining quality and standards.

Our main priority is that you can graduate on time and that your award will retain its value both now and in the future. This includes students on courses that have a professional validation element too. 

More about the industrial action

The marking and assessment boycott is in relation to ongoing national disputes about pay, working conditions and pensions. It is taking place at 41 universities including Sussex.

Previous industrial action that occurred in March 2022 was to do with disputes about pensions, pay and working conditions. This took place at 68 universities.

Both pensions and pay for many staff working at universities across the UK, including Sussex, are set by national bodies. As such they are negotiated by teams of representatives who act on behalf of the majority of universities collectively.

Members of the University Executive Group and UCU local and regional representatives are involved in ongoing talks to explore possible ways to help resolve the dispute.

Improving working conditions for staff

Improving the work environment for all staff is something we care about deeply – and a number of projects are underway to improve the working and study environments for staff and students.

Although we have only a certain amount of annual income, we work hard to ensure we are delivering the best education and student experience for our students with the money we have.