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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2006, 07:59 GMT 08:59 UK
University calms students' fears
Graduate receiving degree
The university said it was working with students and lecturers
Students at the University of Kent are being promised their final exams will be marked despite concerns that a pay row could threaten their graduation.

Lecturers' unions are arguing with the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association over increased salaries.

The argument means students are not getting feedback on their work or having their exams and essays marked.

The university said it was confident exam work would be marked and processed "at some point in the near future".

The national dispute has seen a pay offer of 12.6% over three years rejected by the unions.

'Stressful time'

John Fitzpatrick, president of the Association of University Teachers in Kent, said: "We told the university six months ago that we wouldn't be able to mark unless they made a reasonable pay offer.

"All teaching on the courses is being done. What isn't being done is feedback on exams or assessments."

Emma Powell, president of the University of Kent's student union, is pleading for a resolution.

Ms Powell said students were "going into exams blind" because of a lack of feedback on essays and dissertations.

"Exam time is very stressful anyway and if you're going into an exam wondering whether it will be marked and whether the mark will even count, it's causing even more distress.

"Students are just worried about whether they will actually graduate in July."

The university said exams would still go ahead and marking would take place "as soon as the dispute is resolved".

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