In the statue row, the vice-chancellor of Oxford has condemned academics for “punishing students.”
In the wake of a controversy over a Cecil Rhodes statue, Oxford University’s president has chastised academics for choosing to “punish students” by boycotting tutorials.
Professor Louise Richardson, vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, expressed her disappointment that some of her colleagues would disturb students’ studies in protest of Oriel College’s refusal to remove a contentious British imperialist monument.
More than a hundred academics at the University of Oxford have refused to conduct tutorials to Oriel College’s undergraduates because of the college’s relationship with a statue that “glorifies colonialism.”
I am profoundly disturbed that some of my Oxford colleagues would chose to penalise young… for their college’s governing body’s conduct
They’ve also promised not to help Oriel College with outreach or admissions interviews, and they’ve said they won’t attend or present at any of the college’s presentations, seminars, or conferences.
It comes after Oriel College was accused of “institutional racism” last month when its governing council stated that the monument of Rhodes will not be moved from its current location outside the building.
However, professors will continue to examine applicants who are Oriel students, supervise Oriel students in graduate school, and provide lectures to which Oriel students may attend.
“I am profoundly saddened that some of my colleagues would chose to punish students, and potential students, for the acts of their college’s governing board, especially after the protracted disruption of teaching during the pandemic,” Professor Richardson stated.
Oxford students may be entitled to compensation if their classes are disrupted by the academic boycott over the Rhodes statue, according to Downing Street.
We strongly support academic freedom, but universities also have a responsibility to ensure that students have access to high-quality education, especially considering the disruption the pandemic has already created.
“Students properly expect,” a representative for No 10 stated on Thursday. (This is a brief piece.)