Students at the University of Glasgow face being left in limbo as the ongoing marking boycott could see many receive no decision at all, with a knock-on effect on future employment or scholarship funding.

As previously reported by The Herald, there are fears that awards could be 'deeply devalued', with talk of "dummy degrees" being issued by Scotland's leading universities.

That has raised concern that graduates could be entering fields such as medicine or teaching without the rigorous checks and balances which would usually be in place.

Some students at the University of Glasgow have already received their marks and the rest will receive their results on Tuesday, but many could be left in limbo during the ongoing marking boycott by members of the Universities and College Union.

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Exam boards will issue degrees based on either a full award, an award with no classification or, in some cases, no decision at all.

Some students will be given the mark 'UQ', meaning they have done enough to earn a degree but exam boards have not been able to determine at what level.

Others could be left without any results at all as they look to enter graduate jobs or move into further education.

Guidance released by the University of Glasgow stated: "If your record does not show a classification (e.g. First, lower second, or ‘UQ’), unfortunately this means that, due to the limited availability of ratified results, it is not currently possible to confirm whether you are eligible for the award of the degree for which you are currently enrolled.

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"As a matter of urgency, the University is prioritising the marking of outstanding work and will confirm an outcome as soon as possible."

One mature student at the university who spoke to The Herald raised the issue of funding for scholarships, which are often conditional on results - results which may not be available as they haven't been marked.

Another source at the university said: "Some areas have held their exam boards and so we know there are many students confirmed as not receiving their degrees but instead receiving a ‘degree pending’.

"All options are bad and detrimental to students. Their work is being discredited and devalued or simply discarded. As teaching staff, we know how hard students work on their final assessments and it is devastating to see them treated as disposable.

"The impact is also highly uneven. One student in a programme might get a degree, their classmate might get a dummy degree, someone else might not be determined."

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Student Jackie McColm said: "As students, we feel strongly that the lack of and absence of action from the university bosses shows no care or concern for the students and their hard work. 

"On the contrary, this response would indicate that they care about their own wages, they care about paying their stakeholders, and not rocking the boat amongst powerful politicians and banks.

"We, the students, agree that those who run our universities should hold themselves accountable but the lack of action shows us that rather than resolve the disputes they are instead threatening to take up to 100% of wages from staff who are still performing the majority of their duties.

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"We are unanimous in our conclusion that this is disgraceful and oppressive behaviour.

"Not only do those teaching and lecturing suffer, but those who have worked hard to study, research and learn, face months of uncertainty without grades. This could affect further education applications and future job prospects and we find this abhorrent behaviour on the part of the University."

UCU Glasgow branch said in a statement: "Students will receive devalued, dodgy degrees so senior management can claim they graduated on time. We are furious at this treatment of students who deserve to have their work fairly graded by the usual specialist staff and to receive the degree they deserve. This could lead to the value of degrees in some areas not being recognised by accreditation bodies and could therefore affect the ability of students to obtain employment."

Mary Senior, Scotland official UCU, said: “The blame for the disruption to graduations, degree and qualification awards lies squarely with university bosses.

"They have the power to resolve this long running dispute over pay and working conditions. 

“University staff come to work in the sector to teach and support students, and the very last thing they want to be doing right now is boycotting marking and assessments. Workers have been left with no choice but to participate in this boycott by the intransigence of university bosses, in failing to address the real terms pay cuts staff have endured since 2009, and because of the unsafe workloads, pay inequality and insecure employment contracts of so many university workers.

“Rather than keep trying to circumvent lawful industrial action short of strike, and imposing disproportionate pay deductions, university principals should be calling on their employers’ association UCEA to get back to the negotiating table to resolve the dispute.

"We’ve already seen the universities of Cambridge, Sussex and Queen’s Belfast calling for talks to resolve the dispute, it's time Glasgow University joined that list to demand negotiations to get to a resolution”.

A spokesperson for the University of Glasgow said there would be "no compromise" on academic standards, that it expected all students to graduate on time, and "in the small minority of cases where students are graduating with an unclassified degree, we will work with them individually to make sure they are not disadvantaged with regard to future work or study".

A University of Glasgow spokesperson said: "We regret the UCU is taking industrial action, but the vast majority of staff continue to work normally and the university is doing everything to keep disruption to students to a minimum.

"The marking and assessment boycott in no way impacts the quality of degrees - to suggest otherwise is disparaging to all the hard work and effort undertaken by our students.

"We are committed to ensuring that the highest academic standards are maintained while ensuring that no student is prevented from progressing to the next stage of their degree, or graduating, because of the UCU action.”