Student news round-up: Newcastle University to open London campus


Elliot Davies
Monday 02 March 2015 14:10 GMT

Newcastle University to open London campus

Newcastle University has announced plans to open a centre for studies in London, The Courier reports.

The campus, which will offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in business studies to international students, will be run in part by INTO University Partnerships. INTO has joint ventures with a number of universities around the UK and is already responsible for Newcastle's INTO Centre.

The venture is aiming to take in around 1,200 students each year and may in future expand to teach other subjects. It will be based at the existing INTO campus in the centre of London, filling a vacancy left by the University of East Anglia.

The university's vice-chancellor, Professor Chris Brink, said: "This exciting development will complement our international profile… Having a base in one of the most influential cities in the world will help reinforce Newcastle University’s reputation for innovation and academic excellence."

Andrew Colin, INTO's chairman, said: "We’re proud to be working with Newcastle to establish its London campus and deliver world-class opportunities with an international focus."

SOAS votes to boycott Israeli academics

Students and staff at the School of Oriental and African Studies, part of the University of London, have voted in favour of boycotting Israeli academic institutions in a campus referendum.

The London Student reports that 73 per cent of those who voted at SOAS, which calls itself "the world's leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East", backed the boycott. The referendum comes as a response to the situation in Palestine and was held after a motion was passed at the SOAS student union's general meeting.

A university spokesperson said: "The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions opinion poll which took place at SOAS last week was organised and run by the students’ union. The students' union is an organisation independent of SOAS, University of London. The poll has not been endorsed by SOAS.

"While the poll has been described as a ‘referendum’ by the student union, no details were provided in advance for what would make it quorate or valid. In addition, less than 30% of the SOAS community responded. As highlighted in the student union's own correspondence, the School has no legal obligation to act on the result of this vote.

"SOAS is committed to maintaining a neutral platform and ensuring that all members of our diverse community are free to express their opinions in a mutually respectful and collegial environment. This can only be conducted effectively in an atmosphere of open enquiry, mutual tolerance and intellectual freedom."

Oxford students propose vote on sub fusc

The Oxford University Students' Union could hold a vote on whether to end the tradition of wearing formal academic dress to exams, according to The Oxford Student.

James Blythe, the OUSU vice-president for access and admissions, has proposed a referendum to gauge student feelings amid fears that wearing so-called sub fusc causes Oxford to appear elitist. He said: "The student view on this issue, set nearly 10 years ago by a referendum, is taken very seriously by the University and I believe only a referendum should change that view."

In the previous vote, in 2006, 81 per cent of students voted to keep the traditional gown and mortar-board for exams. OUSU will decide whether to hold a referendum at a meeting this week.

Anti-student leaflets delivered in Bristol

Anonymous leaflets urging objections to student housing developments have been delivered to residents in Bristol, Epigram reports.

The leaflets, titled "Say 'no' to more student houses", suggest that students are responsible for cars, noise, disruption and rubbish. They say: "Another student house in OUR neighbourhood. Draw the line HERE" and "The next one could be next to you!".

Tom Phipps, the student living officer at the Bristol students' union, said: "It is saddening to see this anti-student leaflet going round... Blaming students for problems in the local community is not constructive and will only make tensions worse."

Bristol Geography students given last year's exam paper

First-year geography students in Bristol had their exam results nullified after they were given the same exam paper as the previous year, according to The Bristol Tab.

The test, in "geographical methods", was identical to that from 2014, the marking scheme for which was available online.

An email from the geography department said: "We feel that this examination has been compromised; it would appear that a considerable number of students had been given access to last year's answers where equally many students had not."

It continued: "As such, it has been decided to nullify this exam. Those of you who undertook independent learning for this examination, however, receive the benefit of the formative skills it has given you."

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