News Stack 03/05/16

News from other universities across the UK

3rd May 2016

“On yer bike, Boris!”- King's College, London

The Think Tank society at King’s College London retracted an invitation sent to Boris Johnson to take part in a European Union debate held at the university. The Mayor of London’s controversial remarks about Barack Obama being ‘part-Kenyan’ led the Director of EU Referendum Events at King’s College to conduct the email. The President and Vice-President of Think Tank also approved the email as they branded Johnson’s comments inappropriate as it showed disrespect towards the President of the United States. The debate will continue will both sides of the argument being presented. It has been reported, however, that the decision to withdraw Johnson’s invitation came before he accepted the offer to argue for Britain to leave the EU.

It has also been reported that the email was sent without the acknowledgement of the student committee.

Protestors graffiti campus- Manchester

Animal rights campaigners daubed the words ‘scum’ and ‘evil’ on the walls of a University of Manchester building during a protest. Over three hundred people took part, gathering outside the Stopford Building on the Oxford Road campus. The march was organised by Manchester Animal Action to commemorate World Day for Animals in Laboratories. The University’s Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences and Faculty of Life Sciences was the subject of the campaigners attention this year, who aimed to raise the awareness of unethical and unscientific animal experiments. A spokesperson from the university defended the research they conduct on animals by claiming that it is essential to improve our understanding of health and disease as well as to develop new medicine and medical technologies.

Temporary teachers- Lancaster

A study has found that 58.7 per cent of teaching staff at Lancaster University are on insecure employment contracts. The research carried out by University and College Union reveals that Lancaster is the twenty-second worst offending university on a list of fifty. The research also found that across the UK, forty-nine per cent of teaching staff in universities are currently employed on insecure contracts. This could be detrimental as it may undermine a teachers ability to perform to a good standard. A spokesperson for Lancaster University defended their position as they claimed that fixed-term contracts are not frequently used and where they are, staff are given permanent roles if possible.

Student kicked out of halls- London School of Economics

The London School of Economics has come under criticism of its handling of a ‘severely mentally ill’ student after they were evicted from student accommodation. LSE ignored the advice of two NHS medical healthcare professionals by informing the student that they had one week to move out of their accommodation as they were no longer a student in the 2015/16 academic year. The student had been admitted to hospital for various health reasons which had an impact on their studies. An online petition was set up stating that the student should have the right to return to the accommodation free of charge, which gathered over one thousand signatures. It also stated that those in similar situations should receive housing and financial support to prevent homelessness.

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