University pays students £ 15 an hour to decolonize the program

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Students are paid nearly £ 15 an hour to be “critical readers” in a Russell Group university course decolonization attempt.

The University of Edinburgh hires part-time students to review course materials and programs ‘from an equality, diversity, inclusion and decolonization perspective’.

They will be paid £ 14.66 an hour and work six hours a week in one of the university’s most prestigious faculties, literatures, languages ​​and cultures in the 16th century.

Recruits will report to academics on the faculty’s study council to help diversify courses such as English literature and foreign languages, focusing on issues such as race, gender, sexuality and disability.

An internal job posting for the positions, seen by The Telegraph, says applicants must “have an interest in decolonizing the program” and “a strong commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion” , the latter being listed in the “essential” specifications. Campaign experience is listed as “desirable”.

“Institutionalized censorship”

Last night, academics criticized the move as an attempt to “institutionalize censorship” by giving credence to “student activists.”

Students will receive training before embarking on ‘reading and reviewing’ course materials in November and December. The pilot project is funded by the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme, which receives donations from alumni and the public.

An Edinburgh scholar, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Telegraph: “The connotations of this are pretty clear, undergraduates may be able to be paid to control and ‘decolonize’ the programs offered by the academics they are supposed to attend. learn from.

“Universities are already throwing a gauntlet of criticism at academics who try to deliver courses without student activists having a say. “

The scholar also expressed concern that tutors with similar pay scales in Russian history might face “officials” in front of English literature students “with little or no knowledge” of their subject.

“Stop the discussion”

Professor Frank Furedi, a sociologist at the University of Kent, added: “He is trying to institutionalize censorship – there is already this disposition to shut down discussion and now they are giving people money for it.”

It is part of the intensification of the institution’s decolonization efforts, which has created a steering group to identify “controversial elements of the university’s past” so that “remedial recommendations” can be formulated. .

Computer professors were urged not to use the “Western” names of Alice and Bob in computer terminology, while the David Hume Tower was renamed after activists surfaced at the philosopher’s comments. of the Enlightenment in the 18th century.

Earlier this year, academics in Edinburgh revolted to demand the resignation of the university’s director, Professor Peter Mathieson. They alleged that an “intolerant and illiberal” culture took hold after an academic was investigated on “problematic” views.

While Edinburgh is seen as the first to pay student critical readers, last year Sheffield University hired students at £ 9.34 an hour to monitor and challenge so-called ‘micro- assaults ”on campus.

A spokesperson for the University of Edinburgh said it was’ committed to addressing contemporary and historical inequalities’ and that students would ‘explore how the school’s current curriculum can engage students in a meaningful way, rigorous and inclusive ”.


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