Which universities are striking and why?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

As part of a protracted dispute over salary and working conditions, lecturers and other university staff members across the UK will be on strike for five days starting today, September 25.

Numerous UK institutions' actions by the University and College Union (UCU) will fall during Freshers' Week for many first-year students.

Strike action has been called off at plenty of universities and many employers have agreed to end punitive pay deductions confirmed UCU. The union said the action will now be targeted at the very worst employers.

So, which universities are taking part and why are they striking?

Which universities are striking?

The majority of the strike action will occur over five days, from Monday, September 25, to Friday, September 29, 2023, while a few UCU branches may strike on additional or alternative days due to local conditions.

Here is the full list:

  • Birbeck, University of London

  • Bournemouth University

  • Brighton, University of - Currently undertaking indefinite strike action over local redundancies

  • Brunel University

  • Buckinghamshire New University

  • Dundee University - Striking on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 September

  • Durham University - Striking on Tuesday 26 September

  • Edge Hill University

  • Edinburgh University

  • Glasgow University - Striking on Wednesday 27 September

  • Gloucester University - Striking on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 September

  • Greenwich University

  • Harper Adams University

  • Heriot-Watt University

  • Keele University

  • Kingston University

  • Leeds University

  • Liverpool John Moores University

  • Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

  • Liverpool University

  • London Metrpolitan University - Striking on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 September

  • Manchester University

  • Open University

  • Oxford Brookes University - Striking on Wednesday 27 September

  • Oxford University

  • Plymouth Marjon University

  • Plymouth University - Striking on Monday 25 September

  • Queen Mary, University of London - Strike days are over punitive deductions for those who took part in the marking and assessment boycott (MAB)

  • Royal Academy of Music

  • Royal Agricultural University

  • Royal College of Art

  • Royal College of Music

  • Royal Holloway, University of London

  • Salford University

  • Sheffield University

  • South Wales University

  • Stranmillis University

  • Stratclyde University

  • Sussex University

  • Trinity Laban University

  • Ulster University

  • University College Birmingham

  • University for the Creative Arts

  • University of the Arts London

  • University of West England - Striking on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 September

  • Westminster University - Striking on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 September

  • Writtle University College

Why are universities striking?

As part of a protracted disagreement over compensation and working conditions, employees are taking action.

The UCU demands that businesses stop using zero-hours contracts and temporary contracts, as well as a salary increase equal to the RPI measure of inflation plus two per cent.

According to the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), the revised pay agreement for 2023–24, valued five-eight per cent, was the biggest offer of its sort in almost 20 years.

Unions contend that this represents a pay decrease in real terms, and 56 per cent of voting UCU members chose to reject the offer.

Despite the refusal, the UCEA recommended that universities go ahead and retroactively apply the salary increase for 2023–24 in February.

The UCU asserts that it is optimistic that a separate pensions dispute will be settled, restoring lowered pension payments.

According to the UCEA employers' body's examination of data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the median income for a professor is approximately £80,000, while 25 per cent of professor salaries are at or below £70,000.