Former classmates of Gao Yan say she was raped by a professor and the assault led to her suicide
Peking University, China’s top academic institution, admitted this month that 20 years ago a professor had been involved in “inappropriate student-teacher relations” with a female student. Former classmates of that student, Gao Yan, a star pupil studying Chinese literature, say she was raped and that the assault pushed her to commit suicide less than a year later.
The university said in a statement on 6 April that at the time they concluded the professor, Shen Yang, had “handled the situation very imprudently” and he was given an administrative warning and demerit in the summer of 1998, about four months after Gao’s suicide. Shen has denied the allegations by Gao’s classmates, calling them “total nonsense”.Continue reading...
Students who feel their universities are not taking their complaints about lost teaching time seriously (Letters, 16 April) have tried signing petitions, writing letters and speaking to the media. The universities have stood firm in refusing to pay a penny in compensation.
No other service provider would get away with charging for 25 weeks of a service and cutting that to 22 with no price reduction. There is no question that universities owe students fair compensation. Because of the huge numbers of students affected, universities could have to pay out millions of pounds. This is why petitions have proven ineffective. Universities might act when a petition calls for a lecturer to be sacked or for a change in investment policy. But they are much less likely to respond to a petition for them to pay out millions to students.Continue reading...
Interview: The chair of the education select committee, dubbed ‘a white-van Tory’, on why he now has more power than a minister
After last year’s general election, one of Theresa May’s first moves was to sack not only Justine Greening, the education secretary, but also Robert Halfon, the skills minister, whom she had appointed to the job less than 11 months earlier. Why, I ask Halfon in his House of Commons office, was he caught up in this purge? “I have no idea. She just said to me: ‘Go back to the backbenches. You’re good at campaigning.’”
He took the prime minister at her word. His first campaign was to get himself elected by his fellow MPs as chair of the education select committee. “I stood for days on end in Commons corridors and in the members’ lobby handing out my ladder of opportunity.” Pardon? He hands me a sheet of paper depicting a ladder with five rungs. It lays out the statistics of educational inequality – “when getting similar GCSE results and living in the same neighbourhoods, pupils on free school meals are 47% less likely to attend Russell Group institutions” – and policies needed for a more socially just system. If the policies are implemented, those who reach the top of the ladder will have “secure and prosperous lives” and the country “a thriving economy fit for purpose in the 21st century”.Continue reading...
Ministers should find an alternative to the year 6 exams, which put enormous pressure on teachers and pupils
The past few years have seen a glut of parents proclaiming they are going to boycott year 6 Sats, the government’s national primary tests. Instead of sending their child in to school for exam week, they will “educate them elsewhere”, in a park or a museum, to get around the school absence rules. This year is no exception. If enough parents followed the trend, would it ever finish off Sats, which have become increasingly unpopular?
In the US, parental protest contributed to several states abandoning the Obama administration’s plan for a national curriculum, known as the “common core”, against which all children would be tested. And states that continued still face protests. Just last year, in Long Island, New York, almost 80,000 children boycotted their maths exams.Continue reading...
Income loss from tuition fees cap could prompt a break from state control, which other institutions might follow
As universities wait to see if the government will cut tuition fees – and therefore their income – one of the most controversial questions of all is being discussed. Could Oxford and Cambridge universities opt to break free from state control and go private?
The government launched its review of post-18 education in February. With the Tories keen to woo young voters, following Jeremy Corbyn’s commitment to end tuition fees, a reduction of the £9,250 fees cap is widely expected. But vice-chancellors say quality could be threatened if the government does not plug any gap with new funding.Continue reading...
Other risqué sins of fashion as laid down by BPP law school include colourful socks and ‘kinky boots’
Trainee barristers are being told they will be docked points in their exams if they wear short skirts, colourful socks or “kinky boots”.
A handbook at the BPP university law school warns students that they may lose points if they do not adopt an extremely conservative dress code in their advocacy assessments.Continue reading...
I am an MA student on the journalism course at Birkbeck, University of London, fighting for compensation for lectures lost due to the staff strike. We paid £3,000 last term for services that were not provided. I wrote to the master of the university, David Latchman, about this and received no reply. I then wrote to the registrar and got this back: “Your tuition fees contribute towards your entire learning experience and are not directly linked to specific contact or teaching hours. Your tuition fees also cover infrastructure such as buildings, library and IT.” How can it possibly be stated that my entire learning experience is not diminished by a lack of lectures?
The university have taken my money and banked what they have not paid the lecturers, it seems. We have been told that the strike may affect lectures for the first two weeks of next term and could be ongoing. I have just been asked to pay my fees for the summer term. I don’t intend to throw more money at the university unless I get a promise of compensation if the strike is ongoing. I wonder if I’ll be thrown off the course?
But pressure on places shows signs of easing in areas of England including London and Birmingham
Thousands of parents in England have been denied a place for their child at their first choice of primary school. Evidence suggests, however, that pressure on reception classes is easing in some areas, including London, where applications were down 2.3% on last year.
After an anxious wait documented by many parents on social media, more than half a million families across England were informed on Monday which primary school their four-year-old will be attending in September.Continue reading...