Higher education

Cambridge don leaves college after new investigation into harassment claims | Education

A Cambridge don has agreed to permanent exclusion from his college following allegations that he breached sanctions placed on him two years ago after an internal investigation into complaints that he had sexually harassed undergraduates. Peter Hutchinson, a non-stipendiary fellow at Trinity Hall, was banned in September 2015 from teaching undergraduates and attending social events where they were present. Trinity Hall, whose alumni include Stephen Hawking and the Oscar-winning actor Rachel Weisz, launched an investigation earlier this month into whether…

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‘Symbolically posh’ Bristol University expanding to wrong side of tracks | Education

In the well-heeled district of Clifton in Bristol, with its Georgian crescents and French brasseries, 100% of school leavers go to university. Yet in the southern suburb of Hartcliffe, the figures are the lowest in the country: only 8.6% make it there. This is the divided face of Brexit Britain. Bristol University, part of the Russell Group and a favourite among private school students, has long been at the privileged heart of Clifton. But it has radical plans to pull…

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UK universities’ BME staff less likely to hold top jobs | Education

Black and minority ethnic (BME) academic staff at UK universities are paid less than their white counterparts and are considerably less likely to hold the most senior jobs, analysis shows. Research by the University and College Union found that BME university staff faced a pay gap of 9% compared with their white colleagues, and black staff a 14% gap. Black academic staff are severely under-represented in the most senior academic roles, according to the UCU. One in nine white academic…

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How I found my vocation: ‘I was told I wasn’t intelligent enough to study’ | Education

I always wanted to study law, but as a teenager I was told I wasn’t smart enough. That put me off for years. I grew up in west London in a working-class, single-parent family. My mother, who was a chauffeur, had my sister when I was 13; it was a difficult birth and she was in intensive care for a long time. She also suffered from postnatal depression, so I spent a lot of time caring for my baby sister…

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Revise, reuse, recycle: how to be a sustainable student | Education

As university doors opened in September for a new year, an estimated 6 million people across the world took to the streets in a historic week of climate action. The power of this youth-led uprising reflected the urgency for action on the environment. So what now? For freshers starting a new chapter at university, deciding how to live your life is vital. Here are some ideas for how you can be sustainable as a student. Eating What you put on…

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Oxford professor accused of selling ancient Bible fragments | Education

An Oxford University professor has been accused of selling ancient Bible fragments to a controversial US company that has been involved in several high-profile scandals related to its aggressive purchases of biblical artefacts. Dirk Obbink, one of the world’s most celebrated classics professors, has been named after an investigation by staff associated with Oxford’s Oxyrhynchus Papyri project. He is accused of selling without permission a number of ancient fragments to the US arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby. Its owners,…

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Autumn of student activism begins over rising cost of university halls | Education

Most students settling in at university this autumn are worrying about seminars and exams, but Caitlin Ghibout, a second-year anthropology student at Durham, is angry about rents. Specifically, the fact that the high costs of college accommodation leave a student on the maximum maintenance loan just £1,270 to cover living costs for the year. This autumn, in parallel with student activists across the country, Ghibout will be launching a Cut the Rent campaign. She wants to challenge her university over…

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UK to deport academic to Democratic Republic of Congo – which she has never visited | Education

Furaha Asani, a young academic at Leicester University, was shocked when her visa application was rejected in August. But real fear set in when she realised Britain plans to deport her in three weeks’ time to the Democratic Republic of Congo – a war-torn country she has never visited and where the Home Office agrees sexual violence is pervasive. Dr Asani came to the UK on a full scholarship to do a PhD on infection and immunity at Sheffield University,…

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League tables drive degree class inflation | Letter | Education

With reference to grade inflation (Universities launch code to address concern over degree grade inflation, 10 October), the data on the increasing numbers of upper second-class and first-class degrees shows a direct correlation with the introduction of university league tables. British universities are autonomous; unlike A-levels and GCSEs, universities set their own standards and mark their students’ work within broad guidelines. Importantly, they also set their own rules for how a student’s marks are aggregated to derive their degree classification…

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Manchester University students paint over Rudyard Kipling mural | Education

Students at the University of Manchester have painted over a mural of a poem by Rudyard Kipling, arguing that the writer “dehumanised people of colour”. The poem If, which was written around 1895, had been painted on the wall of the university’s newly refurbished students’ union. But students painted over the verses, replacing them with the 1978 poem Still I Rise by theUS poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. In a statement on Facebook, Sara Khan, the union’s liberation…

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Students accuse Goldsmiths University of watering down racism report | Education

Goldsmiths, University of London has been accused of watering down a damning report that illuminates how black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students feel victimised on campus by removing a foreword written by an anti-racism student activist organisation that was central to its publication. Mona Mounir, welfare and liberation officer at Goldsmiths students’ union, says the foreword she was asked to write for the report was pulled at the last minute on the grounds it was “too political”. She was…

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‘Stormzy effect’: record number of black Britons studying at Cambridge | Education

The “Stormzy effect” has helped inspire record numbers of black British students to study at the University of Cambridge, following the musician’s high-profile backing of scholarships for black students at the institution. Cambridge said 91 black British students had been admitted as first-year undergraduates at the start of the academic year, an increase of nearly 50% compared with last year’s 61 students. It takes the total number of black undergraduates studying at Cambridge above 200 for the first time. Last…

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Anti-racism activists end Goldsmiths occupation | Education

Anti-racism campaigners have ended a long-running occupation on a university campus in London, saying the institution has met their demands. The activists took control of Deptford town hall on the campus of Goldsmiths, University of London in March and demanded a series of measures be taken. Relations between the two sides became severely strained as the university sought and won a high court order against the occupation. In an open letter to students and staff on Monday, the acting warden,…

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Elite universities are too obsessed with tradition to tackle racism effectively | Clive Nwonka | Education

As we begin a new academic year, the struggle to decolonise higher education in the UK continues – especially after the issue of racism in UK universities returned to the fore over the summer. The decolonisation of universities is founded on the struggle to give non-western knowledge the prominence it deserves, challenging how we understand, study and experience the world through education. It is a collaborative movement which brings together different issues, experiences and perspectives to radically overhaul how universities…

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Grade inflation fears prompt new voluntary code for UK degrees | Education

Students will need to “consistently demonstrate” exceptional initiative and problem-solving skills to be awarded first-class honours in their undergraduate degrees, according to a new framework to be adopted by UK universities. The framework is part of a new voluntary code on degree classifications, designed to address fears that universities have been guilty of inflating grades. The code also calls for universities to display detailed figures on the degree classes awarded, and explain any changes in the proportions awarded. While students…

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Sweet chili lime pistachios? In my classroom? – Education Article

Sweet chili lime pistachios. Yes, they are real; and they are addictive. One of my team members told me about them, and because I’m a pistachio lover and a chili lover, I had to try them. Yum! I’m a sucker for Tex-Mex flavors, and this one got me. Like many of you, I tend to eat lunch and snacks at my desk, so I need to be careful my laptop doesn’t end up with chili in the keyboard! When I…

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