Many British people are ignorant about how racism works. Yet when black people try to explain, our experience is denied, says Guardian columnist Afua Hirsch
When Usman Kayani chose to do a PhD in theoretical physics at King’s College London, he felt sure an academic career lay ahead of him. Now two months after completing his doctorate, having suffered from anxiety and depression, he is considering other options.
At first Kayani was the only student who was either black, Asian or from an ethnic minority (BAME) in his research group. Although the group later became a bit more diverse he remembers how that feeling of being different, coupled with a lack of BAME academics and professors he could look up to as role models, contributed to his feelings of anxiety.
“It didn’t help my imposter syndrome. I do feel the lack of representation can put people off a career in academia. It’s a vicious cycle,” he says. “My dream was always to stay in academia. Now I don’t know what I want to do and I feel a bit lost.”
As a BAME student, Kayani was defying the odds by doing doctoral research at all. According to an analysis by the Higher Education Funding Council for England in 2016, BAME students are more likely than white students to decide to take a master’s course but less likely to do a PhD. The research found that 2.4% of white students had started a PhD within five years of graduation, compared to 1.3% of their BAME peers.
Last month the UK Council for Graduate Education launched an in depth review looking to establish why more BAME graduates aren’t progressing onto PhDs. The review, which will report next year, will conduct a detailed analysis of student data to understand trends for researching, qualification rates and funding for different ethnicities, as well as to highlight existing schemes which are encouraging participation rates for BAME students.
The fact that more young black students aren’t choosing to do doctorates doesn’t surprise Lynette Goddard, a black academic at Royal Holloway, University of London. She says that in 21 years as an academic she has only supervised three black PhD students. “That tells you something,” she says. When she announced her promotion on her Facebook page, someone commented: “I was never taught by a black lecturer at university so it didn’t occur to me I could do that.”
With Brexit and a global recession looming, the UK needs the talents of enterprising overseas students more than ever. But the outlook is gloomy: there’s been a sharp decline in entrepreneurship among immigrants since the EU referendum. While that’s perhaps unsurprising given the anti-immigration rhetoric that Brexit has spawned, it’s bad news for our economy. Recent data shows that immigrants are more likely to start a business than people born in the UK (13% compared to 8%), and while 14% of UK residents are foreign-born, 49% of fast growing businesses had at least one foreign-born founder.
Despite this, the government has recently changed the rules on which international students are able to stay in the UK after graduation to start a business. While there are some positives, there is a danger that many of the successful entrepreneurs who were endorsed under the previous scheme – such as photographer booking website Perfocal, glasses retailer Specscart and sports travel agency Homefans – would now be excluded.
A year ago, the University of Sheffield made headlines when we became the first UK university to launch LGBT-only flats in our accommodation. Much of the coverage was based on untruths and exaggeration, conjuring images of huge rainbow-clad buildings where all gay students were forced to stay.
The reality was far less dramatic: 32 students in seven flats scattered among the three student villages, with no way of being identified aside from by their tenants. It was hardly the “ghettoising” we were accused of.
The debate hit the news during my first week as the students’ union welfare officer. The project was a result of a partnership between the university and the students’ union LGBT committee. As an LGBT activist myself, I initially had concerns. But my worries were quickly assuaged when I did what lots of news outlets didn’t: actually talk to the students concerned.
They never saw themselves as part of a big political controversy. In fact, they were baffled by all the attention. For the LGBT students, it was about not having to feel like they look feminine or masculine enough to fit in. Or being able to talk about Tinder dates and seminar crushes without fearing judgment or intrusive questions. It’s about one of the most fundamental human needs: to feel safe and comfortable in your own home.
One resident I spoke to, Fran, acts as a mentor in several flats. She said she has heard lots of LGBT students voice fears that their new flatmates might share the views of their school bullies or unsupportive parents. For those students, being around even one other queer person can make life easier. “As a queer person, in an environment that still isn’t great, especially for trans students, your very existence and the fact that you’re living out is resistance in its own way,” she said.
Veronica, a first-year biology student, told me that she had worried about living with someone homophobic. LGBT halls gave her the assurance that her sexuality would be accepted. She had friends express concerns, saying that LGBT students should mix with others to teach them acceptance. But living in the halls made her mingle more by giving her the confidence to go out, meet new people and try new things.
International students who stay and work in the UK for a decade after graduation contribute £3.2bn in extra tax revenues, research has revealed.
The first major report into the boost overseas students give the economy found non-UK graduates do not take jobs from local residents, because they largely obtain work in highly qualified areas such as economics or science, or in sectors that suffer acute shortages, such as teaching and nursing.
The study by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) and the consultancy London Economics found that in the 10 years after graduation, the EU and overseas students who remain from a single year’s cohort will pay an estimated £3.2bn in income tax, VAT, national insurance and other revenues to the exchequer.
Universities must stop ignoring the plight of a growing number of students turning to sex work and should start offering non-judgemental support, campaigners demand.
Students and experts have accused institutions of “simply burying their heads in the sand” over the issue, despite the increasing amount of young people who are turning to sex work to fund university.
Rising living costs, higher student fees and access to online apps which remove traditional barriers into sex work have all been cited as reasons they are turning to prostitution during their studies.
But despite the evidence, many universities are “turning a blind eye”, and in some cases actively blocking groups trying to support students involved in sex work.
In one case a student, who was forced to turn to sex work, was evicted from her home and threatened with expulsion by her university.
WASHINGTON — Marjory Stoneman Douglas senior Emma Gonzalez stood silent, with tears streaming down her face, on a stage in front of thousands at Saturday’s March For Our Lives.
After listing the names of the 17 people killed when a gunman rampaged through her school on Valentine’s Day, Gonzalez asked the crowd to fathom how so many could be murdered in only 6 minutes and 20 seconds.
And then she stopped speaking.
Silent minutes ticked by. Then an alarm beeped.
On first read of this post I misread and believed it was saying that a student can vote twice in any election. However, on a further detailed read I see this is only in respect of Local Authority elections and not General Elections.
I do hope there is a facility that will stop anyone voting twice in any General Election and that it will be enacted as and when double voting does occur.
If you are a student and your home and university addresses are in two different local authority areas, you can vote in local elections in both areas.
You must, however, be registered to vote at both your home and term-time addresses.
If you are not sure if you are already registered contact your local electoral registration office.
In England, Scotland or Wales, you can register to vote online at gov.uk/register-to-vote.
In Northern Ireland, visit our Register to vote in Northern Ireland page to download a registration form.
A very sad state of affairs and yes, it could and possibly will be imported from the US to the Uk, as many undesirable actions are.
More from a growing pile of already abundant evidence that Betsy DeVos should not be in charge of education in America. Actually, I wouldn’t trust her to run a pre-school or kindergarten. In this piece from The Young Turks, Jeff Waldorf reports and comments on the move by DeVos to rescind the 72 official documents, which explain to students and their parents, what the rights of disabled people are when they go to Uni. American universities are granted money by the federal government to support the needs of disabled students. DeVos hasn’t revoked these. She’s just making sure that disabled students, their carers and relatives, don’t know what they are.
One of these documents translates the official jargon of the legislation into ordinary plain English, so that regular peeps don’t need a lawyer to interpret it for them. Now it’s gone, things are going to be made difficult so that…
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Should this be true, then moves need to be made to ensure that one vote by one person is maintained and this could be done by asking for national Insurance numbers when registering to vote or allow everyone 2 votes. Another way could be to ensure that every voting card carries a picture of the official voter, but this would discriminate against those voters who do not have photographs and will not get round the postal vote problem. But do not use this as an excuse to withdraw postal votes as this is a bonus for those will mobility problems.
With regards to husbands voting for their wives and maybe adult children, then this is more complicated, as this could be done through postal votes and the signature , which should be a check, may not always be, as the husbands could apply by them signing as their relative.. Even fingerprint will not work for postal, as the husband could just implant the relatives fingerprint, but still not allow them to vote.
Anyone who is eventually found guilty of any of the above, should permanently lose their right to vote in addition to any other punishments.
Currently I cannot think of a way, but more than likely there will be.
Aren’t humans devious creatures.
THE government has signalled that it will review election rules after an MP claimed students are openly boasting about voting twice in the election.
Ms Leadsom was responding to a concern raised by Wellingborough Tory MP Peter Bone who said that boasts by Leftwing students of voting where they went to university and in their home constituencies had been posted online.
He said: “It has been brought to my attention that people can be registered to vote in a general election in two places.I am registered in London and in my constituency.
Election rules review after students ‘openly boast of voting TWICE’ for Corbyn’s Labour
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