A proposed boycott of the marking of students' work - which could have delayed final grades - has been cancelled, after university union members voted overwhelmingly to accept a two percent pay offer from employers.

More then 83.7 percent of members of the University and College Union (UCU) who voted wished to accept the pay increase and call off the threat of a boycott. The turnout was 52.6 percent. 

Students at some universities, such as City University London, received emails on Friday afternoon notifying them of the decision.

It was feared that delays to marking students' exams and coursework could have delayed graduation, as the degrees would be incorrectly classified. The action would have affected students across the country, of numerous degrees and levels of university education.

UCU's general secretary Sally Hunt said: "Members have made it overwhelmingly clear that they wish to accept the two percent pay offer and call off the proposed marketing boycott. My thanks go to UCU members for their support in this dispute."

The Union's higher education committee met last Friday to consider the result and confirm to accept the rise.

Emily Hilton, a history finalist at UCL, was largely in support of the action: "It's not the lectures' fault that fees were raised, and some seem to feel that if they are paying for it, they are entitled to have their essays and exams marked.

"Long-term gains come out of this kind of action. I've had an excellent teaching experience so far, I would be happy to support it if the lecturers felt it was important."

Dr Edmund Schluessel, a member of the National Union of Students' Postgraduate Committee was worried that the deal sidelined other students. 

"The deal offers no commitments for the thousands of us who work on zero-hours or irregular contracts," he said. "Many struggle in poverty while trying to balance their research and teaching."

He feels that they were excluded from the conversation, and were left out of having any impact on the arrangement. "Any deal that leaves us out in the cold is simply not good enough," he continued.

Other students were angry that their graduations could have been delayed.

21-year-old business management students Kuda Sithole, told the Kingston University River that her friends were worried that their assignments may not get marked: "This should not happen at the cost of students as they have nothing to do with the pay dispute."

UCU members claimed that by taking into account inflation, they had experienced a cut in wages in real terms.

The union also threatened to boycott marking back in 2006, but this issue was resolved.

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