Lecturers in 69 universities across Britain were set to begin a marking boycott on Thursday of this week.
The action by UCU union members is in defence of the pensions of workers who are in the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).
It will mean students will not receive marks on their work and won’t be set coursework. It will also stop exams.
The bosses’ group Universities UK wants to slash thousands from workers’ pensions by ending the final salary element of their scheme. It wants the schemes to be based on career average earnings instead. Talks between bosses and the union were set to continue on Friday of this week.
Some bosses have threatened to dock a full days’ pay from workers who take part in the action short of a strike.
UCU members at a special higher education conference earlier this year voted that, faced with such threats, the union should call a national strike. Union leaders should now honour that vote.
UCU union members at the University of South Wales were set to strike on Thursday of next week. They are fighting planned job cuts.