Union members at Birmingham University expressed regret yesterday that lecturers had voted to end the industrial action that caused widespread disruption to summer exams.
The University and College Union voted by 71 per cent to accept a three-year pay rise worth more than 13 per cent.
It follows the suspension of a boycott on assessing and invigilating exam papers by the union on June 6 to ballot members on whether to accept the deal.
Sue Blackwell, from the UCU's Birmingham University branch, said: "They killed the action at a time when it was really starting to bite.
"We think it should have carried on. We passed a motion calling for a 'no vote' and criticised our management for calling it off.
"If they had continued the result would have been different."
Lecturers were originally calling for a 23 per cent rise over three years to make up for what they claim is a 40 per cent drop in salary relative to comparable professions over the last two decades.
At the height of the industrial action, hundreds of students in the West Midlands were unable to sit their exams.
The suspension of action in early June, however, gave universities enough time to take postponed exams and ensure students were able to pick up their degrees.
Ms Blackwell claimed the union would have secured a better deal if its leaders had not suspended action for the ballot and carried on fighting.
U niversity students expressed relief to see the dispute come to an end.
Richard Angell, president of Birmingham University's Guild of Students, said: "We can now move forward."
The National Union of Student's president Gemma Tumelty, added: "There is no doubt the industrial action made life very difficult for students, many of whom faced serious disruption.
"Today's decision is a step forward for those students, and there is a palpable sense of relief across UK campuses now the action is over."
The revised offer gives lecturers a rise of 10.37 per cent over 22 months, as well as a minimum of 2.5 per cent the following year.
An independent review into finances available to pay staff in higher education will also take place.
Employers have promised if more money is available to increase salaries this will be taken into account in future negotiations.