Browsing: Uni News

In December 2018, Bangor University announced their intentions to close their chemistry department by 2021. Staff and students in the department erupted and the university was soon host to a vigorous student campaign to halt the closure; at one point the then-Vice-Chancellor had to be escorted past a protest by security. But in April 2019, the hammer finally fell, the decision was finalised, and the campaigns quietly faded away. But was has it been like to work and study in the closing department since then? “The analogy is like a terminally ill patient in palliative care.” — Keith Hughes, Senior…

Since reopening in September, universities have been a very common theme in discussion and coverage around COVID-19, with the blame for their hotspot status repeatedly thrown back and forth between ‘irresponsible’ students and ‘greedy’ universities. But outside of the blame game, it’s true that students have faced unique and fearsome challenges this semester, largely as a result of their unusual living accommodations- halls. The question is: was it, or is it, reasonable to hold students in halls to the same lockdown rules as the average person? According to a survey by the National Union of Students (NUS), 52% of students…

28 British Explorers have been honoured in Antarctica thanks to their contributions to polar exploration and advancement of polar sciences. Among them is ex-Bangor University professor David N. Thomas, who lends his name to Thomas’ Glacier.  These explorers will give their names to 28 locations across Antarctica including mountains, glaciers, and lakes. Before now, these locations were known only by their coordinates. The naming celebrates 200 years since the continent was discovered, which means the UK Antarctic Place-names Committee decided it was a rightful time to honour such a large group of people in one go. The names commemorate those…

Bangor University is participating in the SHAPE Sustainability Impact Projects, an initiative created by the British Academy and Students Organising for Sustainability Kingdom (SOS-UK). SHAPE is used by the British Academy as a collective term for Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts for People and the Economy/Environment. These disciplines are important for understanding the fabric of the world, and how people interact within it. While academics and leaders in SHAPE fields have already contributed to major social and environmental change worldwide, approaches to sustainability challenges still often rest solely on people in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).…

Bangor Students Against Cuts is a student-driven campaign opposing Bangor University’s plans to cut 200 jobs. Three student leaders from the group agreed to speak with Seren about their campaign. Per the request of the interviewees, they will be referred to solely as spokespersons one, two, and three (SP1, SP2, SP3). How did Bangor Students Against Cuts start? SP1: We are three student reps from Bangor University who were absolutely appalled when we realised the implication of the 200 job cuts to services and teaching, particularly teaching. It started out as a departmental thing for two of us because we…

An open letter has been sent to Bangor University, arguing against the proposed cuts which would “undermine and destroy” the University’s Welsh department’s reputation. According to the alumni, the latest round of cuts would also weaken a department that is “nationally acclaimed”. The letter has been signed by over 100 alumni of Bangor University, and states: “The proposals not only undermine the reputation of the Welsh department at Bangor University, but weakens the department’s ability to provide the comprehensive and unique education that it is renowned for.  ‘The School of Welsh at Bangor University is one of our national institutions,…

The Welsh Government has asked for students studying in Wales to return home for Christmas by December 9th. The new plans were announced by Education Minister Kirsty Williams, and will allow students who have to self-isolate enough time to get home for Christmas Eve. According to her, the Government has “come up with the best possible solution to the difficult circumstances”, and that “we’re having to manage a whole series of firsts during this pandemic”. On the topic of those showing symptoms, Ms Williams emphasised that they “go and get themselves tested and also to abide by a period of…

Photo by Llywelyn2000 (CC BY-SA 4.0) (Note: The author of this article is an English Literature student who supports this campaign) An independent campaign has been launched to urge the student body to stand up against Bangor University’s plan to make drastic cuts to the English department. The business plan released earlier this week was created in the wake of Bangor University’s financial crisis, which has been exasperated by the pandemic. The plan would result in a considerable loss of staff as well as a large portion of the English literature canon that is currently being taught. Many PhD students…

Faced with a £13m hole in the budget, Bangor University has released several business cases detailing their plans to make savings. This includes their controversial decision to cut 200 jobs, which has attracted concern from the student body about damage to Bangor’s quality of education. This summary covers the proposed changes to the College of Arts, Humanities, and Business, the College of Human Sciences, and the College of Environmental Sciences and Electronic Engineering, and is intended to give students a handy guide as to how the cuts will directly affect their school. The plans summarised below will remain in consultation…

Bangor’s UCU (University & College Union) has partnered with two other trade unions, Unite and Unison, to demand talks with the university under threat of strikes. UCU members have also passed a motion of no confidence in the university’s management. These actions have been taken in response to Bangor University’s plans to cut 200 jobs. The three unions yesterday provided the university with a joint letter, laying out proposals which would satisfy their demands. Most significant among the proposals sent to the university management is the potential of pay cuts across the university to avoid job losses. The Unions have…

Earlier this month, Bangor University announced their plan for filling a £13m gap in their budget. Their foremost solution is a single word that has caused a flood of backlash, uncertainty and fear: redundancies.  With 200 of them on the horizon, staff and students can’t help but envision a disaster, despite university promises to protect the student experience. By compiling new interviews with the UCU trade union and the Bangor Students’ Union, in addition to surveys of student opinions and the latest statements from the university management, this report has been created to help answer the question on every student’s…

Bangor University confirmed yesterday that a Ffriddoedd Village resident has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now self-isolating. This is the first officially confirmed case of Coronavirus in the university’s halls of residence. The University has also recorded three other cases in private accomodation. This is not cause for panic, but a reminder that we must all maintain our university’s dedication to Covid-19 safety guidelines together. The Ffriddoedd resident tested positive this week. Everyone else in the flat has also been tested, and all are now awaiting results in isolation. Just weeks after students have returned to Bangor following a long…

Earlier this month, Bangor University announced that new cuts would be necessary to fill a £13m gap in the budget. The university attributes this situation to a dramatic drop in enrolment from international students, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Both Bangor University and Undeb Bangor, its Students’ Union, stress in statements that the student experience will be protected, and the university hopes to mitigate losses through aid from the Welsh government’s £50m Covid-19 Higher Education Fund. Nonetheless, the university has begun a consultation with staff that could cut up to 200 jobs. “We recognise that the University is…

Most of us will know famed naturalist and television presenter Steve Backshall from his TV series, Deadly 60. Or perhaps from his appearance on Strictly Come Dancing in 2014. Either way, he is set to give a series of lectures for students in Bangor’s College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (CoESE)! Steve is busy working on a documentary series with SKY TV on shark conservation, but even so, plans are now in place for him and senior zoology lecturer, Dr Christian Dunn, to work alongside each other during these sessions. He will be teaching students about zoology, conservation, and the…

A consortium led by Bangor University has been awarded nearly half a million pounds for research into monitoring Covid-19 outbreaks using sewage. Dead fragments of the virus’ genetic material can be found in faeces up to two weeks before symptoms appear, meaning mass testing could predict outbreaks before they appear. “I’m delighted that the ground-breaking environmental monitoring work, which combines different areas of expertise at our College of Environmental Science & Engineering, is to contribute to the nation’s vital work to protect communities against Covid-19 and further outbreaks of coronavirus and other infectious viruses.” said Professor Iwan Davies, Vice-Chancellor of…

In an email sent to students this morning, Bangor University declared their intent to reopen the campus in September. However, the statement advises that there will be some changes in light of the pandemic. Changes include: social distancing measures such as one-way systems and reduced room capacity; increased frequency of cleaning; a hybrid of online and face-to-face teaching; and a minimum of non-essential staff on campus, as well as additional training for those that remain. The university also intends to make all courses available online for students unable to attend in person. The Students’ Union will be operating online, as…

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