The Office for Students (OfS), the universities regulator, has said that universities must be clear on the impact of strikes.

Strikes could resume if UUK’s latest proposal is not accepted. Photo: Simon Ingram/Flickr

Industrial action has so far affected 65 institutions across the UK in a pensions row that began in February.

Whilst strikes are temporarily on hold, there are fears that action could resume as early as next week.

In a statement, the OfS said: “We will be expecting providers to make clear to students what the impact of the industrial action will be and how any disruption will be mitigated.”

Whilst accepting that ‘it is not for the Office for Students to get involved’ in the ‘pensions dispute’, the regulator said: “We do have a clear remit to seek to mitigate the impact of any further action on students.”

The dispute between the University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK (UUK) is temporarily on hold whilst the union considers UUK’s latest proposal.

Under the proposal, there would be a Joint Expert Panel consisting of experts from both bodies to review the proposed pension changes.

However, if the proposal is not accepted, strikes could resume on Monday.

A UUK spokesperson said: “We expect the union to provide urgent clarity on the action planned for the week of the 16th April.”

“Suspension of this action would be a huge relief to students ahead of the main examination period.”

The General Secretary of UCU, Sally Hunt, said: “These latest proposals were won by the solid action of UCU members and it is right for them to have their say on what happens next.”

The OfS statement continued: “As students are examined and assessed, we expect higher education providers to exercise appropriately their responsibilities for maintaining standards.”

“It is essential that academic standards are not put at risk and that the value of qualifications is maintained.”

The University of Lincoln will not be affected as it was not on the ballot when strike action was backed.