A n exceptionally abundant glut of sexual harassment news may have overshadowed a significant victory for students at Warwick University, which, thanks to its administration’s complacency over sexist abuse, has come to occupy a prominent place in the misogyny league tables.
As any female undergraduate can tell you, this is a highly competitive field, but only Warwick has excelled to the point of getting its concern for the perpetrators broadcast across social media, as #shameonyouWarwick. Student protests, then national headlines, provoked by the feeble official response to the discovery of rape “chat” by some male students, led to the university commissioning an independent review, by Dr Sharon Persaud, and now to an apology to the victims from Warwick’s vice-chancellor, Prof Stuart Croft. “We are genuinely sorry,” he said. Pity about the “genuinely” but, moving on, “I should have been quicker. I should have reached out.”Continue reading...
Tale of two schools: ‘We’re paying for a mother to bring her child to school out of PTA funds – and from my pocket’
Headteachers reveal how lack of funding is forcing them to raise cash from donations to pay for staff and even books
Headteacher Paul Stubbings knows that the pupils at his west London comprehensive school have the right to a free, fully funded state education. Yet he spends a quarter of his time asking their parents to give his school hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, meeting frequently with individual, potential donors.
He blames the government for putting him in this extraordinary supplicatory position: “I fully and freely acknowledge that what we are now doing [is] being driven to make up deficiencies in state funding. But children have a right to a top-quality state education. If the state isn’t willing to pay for that, I’ve got to do everything I can to secure it on their behalf.”Continue reading...
A new survey reveals prejudice is on the rise for the first time in decades
The number of people believing there is nothing wrong with gay sex has fallen for the first time since the Aids crisis. The British Social Attitudes survey puts it at dipping from 68% in 2017 to 66% in 2018, leaving a third of the population in some way opposed. NatCen, who conducted the survey, said that, while further polling was advisable, “liberalisation of attitudes does seem to be slowing down”.
The findings coincide with the first decrease in more than a decade of people comfortable with pre-marital sex. On the plus side, last week also saw the Commons victory for gay legislation in Northern Ireland. Still, what a hammering same-sex couples have had recently – everything from attacks on buses to Ann Widdecombe (the Aunt Lydia of Brexit, anyone?) pondering how science could “produce an answer” to gayness. In this context, is the NatCen survey indicative of new attitudes, or yet more evidence that people are feeling bolder about expressing previously veiled prejudices?Continue reading...
Exclusive: £64m has been spent on university technical colleges that have closed
Part of the government’s flagship free schools programme is facing mounting financial difficulties because of its unpopularity with parents and pupils, with schools forced to pay back millions of pounds to the Department for Education and cut staff after failing to attract and retain students.
University technical colleges (UTCs), a type of free school in England that was launched in 2010, ran up debts of £14m last year after many fell short of their forecasts for pupil numbers. Others had to borrow money from the DfE’s funding arm, throwing into question their long-term viability.Continue reading...
Stehen die Zensuren fest, flaut der Unterricht ab: Filme gucken, Ausflüge, Spiele. Eltern ärgert das. Mancherorts greifen nun die Behörden durch, damit die laue Zeit nicht ausufert.
Grill tutors on course specifics or just get a feel for the town vibe on these fact-finding days
Open days are not just a good opportunity for students; they also give family members an insight into university life. But parents shouldn’t try to “relive their youth”, says James Busson, co-director of student recruitment at the University of Sheffield. Instead, they are there to play a supporting role, to help students learn about a university.
So how can you all get the most out of the day?Continue reading...
Die Prüfungen sind geschrieben, die Abiturienten feierlich verabschiedet. Doch die Ergebnisse unterscheiden sich in den einzelnen Bundesländern teils deutlich. Ein erster Überblick.
The soaring number of first-class degrees is a direct result of our marketised university system
Yet again, universities have been blamed for grade inflation. Responding to findings by the universities regulator, the Office for Students, that there has been an “unexplained” 80% rise in first class degrees, the education secretary, Damian Hinds attributed this problem to “unfair practices” by universities. It follows his comments last year that universities “should be accountable for maintaining the value of the degrees they award”, with fines mooted for those which fail to comply.
This displaces the blame. Grade inflation is a product of the government’s university marketisation agenda and neoliberal policymaking in higher education over the past 20 years. Governments dating back to New Labour have placed an increasing emphasis on delivering “value for money” to students. Linked to the political decision to introduce (in 1998) and then treble (in 2010) tuition fees, young people have been encouraged to view their education as a financial investment that should deliver a return – ideally in the form of enhanced labour market prospects. These trends form part of a wider ideology which understands education as a private good and reimagines students as consumers and academics as service providers.Continue reading...
Baden-Württembergs Bildungsministerin buhlt um die Zustimmung von Markus Söder.
Proportion of students awarded first class honours rose by 80% in just seven years
The proportion of university students awarded first class honours has rocketed by 80% in the last seven years, prompting renewed calls from government for an immediate clampdown on grade inflation.
New figures released by the universities regulator, the Office for Students (OfS), show that 16% of students who graduated from an English university in 2010–11 attained the highest possible degree classification, but by last summer the proportion had gone up to 29%. Over the last year alone the proportion of firsts has increased by more than 2%.Continue reading...
Some failing schools shunted between trusts as sponsors collect millions in grants
More than 300 primary schools across England have been forced to become academies in the last three years against a backdrop of mounting opposition from parents, a Guardian investigation has revealed.
Analysis of government data has shown that 314 schools were forcibly removed from local authority control after being rated inadequate by Ofsted. The Department for Education (DfE) has paid out at least £18.4m to academy trusts for taking on the schools.Continue reading...
A series of mishandled sexual assault cases have shown how university policies aren’t supporting students
The Warwick case is widely referred to as the “rape chat” case. It sounds relatively innocuous on first hearing, but actually refers to a serious case of sexual misconduct including making threats to rape. Many student societies or courses now have large Facebook or WhatsApp chat groups outside of formal university communication systems. The Warwick case involved a chat group with 11 male students, who sent extremely sexually explicit and violent (as well as racist) messages over a long period of time. Messages included references to gang rape and genital mutilation.Continue reading...