A national Marking & Assessment Boycott is the most powerful tool ucu has had to change the direction and priorities of higher education. There is a lot of collective knowledge in the union using MABs effectively.


University managers are going to be acting and reacting based on their local Quality Assurance frameworks as well as the demands from the Office for Students. Find your local equivalent of this list:

Experiences of local branches

A number of branches have maintained successful marking boycotts. They have shared their advice.

  • Roadmap for organisers here, including a mapping template and how-to guides on conversations.
  • We’ve compiled a slide deck with information on how QMUCU did the boycott in the Summer of 2022.
  • Here is a timeline of events at QMUCU in 2022 which could give you a sense of the ebbing and flowing of pressure.
  • We wrote this blogpost for our own members in May 2022, which can help in communicating locally.
  • Leicester shared this information with members.
  • Leeds UCU shared a practical FAQ.
  • Liverpool UCU held a highly effective Marking Boycott and recorded a video on tactics.
  • Goldsmiths UCU shared a helpful strategy doc.


A MAB involves a lot of clear communication within the branch. Some branches have shared versions of what they have sent which others are free to edit to their own purpose.

  • Sheffield Hallam created a helpful form to gather information from members for the mapping exercise.

Student Communication

Students are key in making a marking boycott effective. Help them direct their rightful frustration to the right culprit.

  • We wrote this to explain the marking boycott to our students, which you can adjust to your local purposes.
  • Goldsmiths UCU wrote this to their students.

QMUL community solidarity created templates and resources to help our students in the Summer of 2022. You can use these to make your own: