Tens of thousands of university staff are set to go on strike today – the first of three walkouts planned for this week.
Some 70,000 members of the University and College Union (UCU) are set to take part in the action, spanning 150 universities across the UK.
Lecturers will be among those not turning up to work as a dispute over pay, contracts, and pensions continues.
Strikes are also set to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It comes after the union’s higher education committee voted to continue action last week, and not to put the latest proposals from employers to a vote of its members.
Unions including the UCU had said that a deal with the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) had been reached “on terms of reference for detailed negotiations”, including on pay and workload.
But hopes of a breakthrough were later quashed by the UCU’s higher education committee.
Raj Jethwa, Universities and Colleges Employers Association chief executive, said the agreement “reflected the employers’ genuine desire to positively reset industrial relations in our sector”.
“There is a tangible offer on the table from employers to negotiate on the issues at the heart of this dispute,” he added.
Monday marks the start of a seventh week of strike action by higher education workers.