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Post Info TOPIC: General election/politics


Tennis legend

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General election/politics


My wife is a sixth form invigilator at a large secondary school here in Harrogate - around 650 sixth form students, school overall is high performing academically although it has around 2000 pupils.

She estimates that around 1/4 of the A level candidates take some form of added time in their exams, sometimes down to things like dyslexia but often linked to some form of anxiety etc. Some students and families really know how to play the system and claim all sorts of dispensations and added time. Her view is it has become a joke. The school is what one might term "middle class" (CoE school) and the parents typically quite pushy for their kids and push all the buttons they can to get extra time, or a separate quiet room for exams, etc.

My daughter is at Edinburgh Uni. She enjoys it and has no complaints apart from only getting 7 hours contact time per week this year (3rd year). Personal tutors were taken out this year which she misses a lot - she got on well with hers in years 1 and 2 and found it really valuable to have PT time but misses it now they have taken it out. Her main issue is that there is a large number of overseas students (largely Chinese and Middle Eastern, more Chinese though) and they often take up 20% of tutorial groups - the issue is that their English is generally very poor - they cant contribute in classes and she has no idea how they can create the work content to get through their course work and exams.

Not sure if it helps add to the above interesting debate, just an angle.

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Tennis legend

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It's interesting, Jon

And ties in quite strongly with what I'm talking about

Just to add:

Firstly, I know that there are some decent unis. And I do know that departments can vary wildly (i.e. some of the cases I know are lecturer driven, some department driven and some Uni driven)

I also know one excellent uni in London that is holding out strongly in its rules/regs/allowable practices. I applaud them.

But, I also know that many universities are wilfully blind to the problem.

Being in contact every day with students from other unis, in London and across the country, I know that it is utterly ridiculous (IMO) how many of the departments allow constant extensions and other help.

Also, I personally know students who have effectviely bought their dyslexia/anxiety disorder medical certifcates - they've told me and talk openly about it (as I'm not affiliated to their uni).

I am also asked on a weekly basis, if not daily, to actually do students' coursework for them. I say no (although about 4 years ago I did say 'yes' once, in a slightly special situtation, just to see how it worked - absolutely fine was the answer - as in, not absolutely fine from an ethical point of view, but zero problem for the uni or student)

But I know that when I say 'no' normally the students simply go and find someone else.

It obviously isn't plagiarism that can be detected as they buy original work.
But it's rampant, amongst students who can afford it - and it's not even that expensive - although the cheaper providers don't provide a very good standard (a lot is farmed out to India, say, where English is an official language) - which is quite amusing, as the finished product is poor, which is what the students deserve). These providers even advertise at Frenshers week sometimes and on student forums etc.

Maybe worst of all, I also know a few junior lecturers who provide the service themselves, privately so to speak.

Financially, for many students it's a no-brainer. The average price for a 2,500 piece of coursework is only about £300.
Now that coursework will often represent 50% of their final mark in that module (sometimes 100%) and, given that UK students are paying approx £15k a year, (not including lost earnings) and foreign students are paying far more, then £300 is chicken feed.

Unis are wilfully blind to the problem, IMO. One Principal, when confronted by his lecturer, who knew what was going on, said he didn't want to cause a problem as word would get round that his uni was being 'difficult' and they would lose all the foreign students they were getting from certain countries.

What hope?

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Futures qualifying

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Universities used to be places of learning - now they are profit centres.

I struggle with the egalitarian view that everyone should go to university - back when I was young and dinosaurs ruled only a small fraction of jobs needed a university degree, which was fortunate as only a small fraction of students were bright enough to obtain one.

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christ wrote:

Universities used to be places of learning - now they are profit centres.

I struggle with the egalitarian view that everyone should go to university - back when I was young and dinosaurs ruled only a small fraction of jobs needed a university degree, which was fortunate as only a small fraction of students were bright enough to obtain one.


 My friends daughter got in with 1 A level at grade E. So many jobs require a degree now when historically 5 O levels at grade C or above would have been the requirement.



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Tennis legend

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emmsie69 wrote:
christ wrote:

Universities used to be places of learning - now they are profit centres.

I struggle with the egalitarian view that everyone should go to university - back when I was young and dinosaurs ruled only a small fraction of jobs needed a university degree, which was fortunate as only a small fraction of students were bright enough to obtain one.


 My friends daughter got in with 1 A level at grade E. So many jobs require a degree now when historically 5 O levels at grade C or above would have been the requirement.


 Got into uni with 1 A level at Grade E? 

As an 18 year-old? Not a mature student or someone with BTechs or something different as well? 



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emmsie69 wrote:
christ wrote:

Universities used to be places of learning - now they are profit centres.

I struggle with the egalitarian view that everyone should go to university - back when I was young and dinosaurs ruled only a small fraction of jobs needed a university degree, which was fortunate as only a small fraction of students were bright enough to obtain one.


 My friends daughter got in with 1 A level at grade E. So many jobs require a degree now when historically 5 O levels at grade C or above would have been the requirement.


 Tony Blair set the ridiculous target in 1999 of 50% of people to go to uni hmm  I also think the number of firsts handed out has massively increased. When I graduated back in the 90s,  two students out of 90 achieved a first, similar numbers when my husband graduated. When my daughter recently graduated a from a top 5 UK uni, I remember being amazed by the number of firsts!

When I was at school a friends sister needed 5 O levels  to go into nursing or  2 A levels in any subject for physiotherapy. No idea what is required for nursing now, but physiotherapy requires all As and Bs  



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Coup Droit wrote:
emmsie69 wrote:
christ wrote:

Universities used to be places of learning - now they are profit centres.

I struggle with the egalitarian view that everyone should go to university - back when I was young and dinosaurs ruled only a small fraction of jobs needed a university degree, which was fortunate as only a small fraction of students were bright enough to obtain one.


 My friends daughter got in with 1 A level at grade E. So many jobs require a degree now when historically 5 O levels at grade C or above would have been the requirement.


 Got into uni with 1 A level at Grade E? 

As an 18 year-old? Not a mature student or someone with BTechs or something different as well? 


 She was 21 but had not continued any form of education in the 3 years between leaving School and going to University.  Her 1 A level , a bit of (unrelated) work experience and some GCSEs were all that was required.



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Tennis legend

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Drove up from London this afternoon and evening - listening to the mess around the Israeli and Gaza cease fire unfold. Wow. It turned from being about that to being about the process of British politics and , more generally, the politics of British politics. Couldnt make it up.

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I think this qualifies under politics, and wondered if someone wiser and more in tune than me could fill in my knowledge gaps.

The Court of Appeal has today declined Shemima Begum's appeal against being stripped of her British citizenship.

Putting aside whatever one thinks of her and what she did in joining ISIL, I was unsure how this is possible (realise its been going on for a few years now).

Surely, everyone has a citizenship. If someone is born in and has British citizenship from birth, surely they are a citizen regardless of whatever they have done - we dont strip mass murderers of their citizenship, however terrible their crimes. I am not sure if joining a terror group qualifies as treason, but I didnt think treason led to stripping of citizenship. And other "terrorists" who have committed crimes, dont get stripped of citizenship.

As I say, I am not judging what she did at all (no one can justify that, however naive and young she was) but in my head the recourse would surely be in the criminal courts of the country so she ends up paying for her crimes in prison, not that she is no longer a citizen?

Obviously, if she acquired British citizenship after birth, I can see clearly how that could be different but my understanding is that she was born and lived her whole life in Britain before joining ISIS?


Please dont anyone start ranting at me, I am in no way a supporter or sympathiser of hers, I just dont understand the law or how or why this can be applied?

Thanks for anyone who has deep knowledge and can explain it more clearly and logically as to how it is correct? or wrong!


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Tennis legend

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Under international law, you cannot strip someone of their citizenship if that leaves them stateless

However, you can do so if they have another nationality/citizenship (and I don't think it matter which one they had first or whatever)

Begum, apparently, is (was?) a Bangladeshi national

And that is the way the British government/court can remove her citizenship

Now, as I understand it, that Bangladeshi nationality is open to question but, assuming she has it/is entitled to it, then the court/government haven't done anything wrong, technically, in taking away her GB nationality

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Futures qualifying

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Begum's case is quite complicated, and seems to revolve around implicit nationality rather than explicit. As I understand it, Begum does not explicitly hold any nationality. A child does not automatically become a British citizen when born in the UK unless one of its parents is a UK citizen: as Begum's father resides in Bangladesh and her mother is believed to be a Bangladeshi national, the U.K. government has argued that under Bangladeshi law, this means Begum is automatically a citizen of Bangladesh (although she has never been there).

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Tennis legend

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christ wrote:

Begum's case is quite complicated, and seems to revolve around implicit nationality rather than explicit. As I understand it, Begum does not explicitly hold any nationality. A child does not automatically become a British citizen when born in the UK unless one of its parents is a UK citizen: as Begum's father resides in Bangladesh and her mother is believed to be a Bangladeshi national, the U.K. government has argued that under Bangladeshi law, this means Begum is automatically a citizen of Bangladesh (although she has never been there).


 Thanks CD and christ. Just pondering - what if Bangladesh said, no, she isnt Bangladeshi, she has never been here or held Bangladesh nationality, or if she had dual rights - is it a case of who get's there first and strips her of her nationality, or could there be a fight at some higher court (if both relevant countries effectively dont want her?)

Not sure what the Bangladeshi's have said in this case, maybe they don't care?



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As I understand it, the original immigration tribunal ruled she"s "a citizen of Bangladesh by descent", although I think she wasn't recognised as a Bangladeshi citizen by Bangladesh at that point and I seem to recall the government of Bangladesh making some diplomatic noises that suggested they wouldn't grant her Bangladeshi citizenship. (Though I haven't dug up a source on that with just a quick poke around.)

 



-- Edited by Tanaqui on Friday 23rd of February 2024 03:44:29 PM

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Tennis legend

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Tanaqui wrote:

As I understand it, the original immigration tribunal ruled she"s "a citizen of Bangladesh by descent", although I think she wasn't recognised as a Bangladeshi citizen by Bangladesh at that point and I seem to recall the government of Bangladesh making some diplomatic noises that suggested they wouldn't grant her Bangladeshi citizenship. (Though I haven't dug up a source on that with just a quick poke around.)

 



-- Edited by Tanaqui on Friday 23rd of February 2024 03:44:29 PM


 Thanks Tanaqui - which makes me wonder, if Bangladesh and the UK say we both don't want her, she's yours...how does that get decided? What is the higher body that rules, something within the UN? Given that someone can't be made state-less, and if both candidate countries don't want someone, there needs to be some process or legal body that can eventually rule. Putting aside Begum, for anyone.

Or?  



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There are United Nations conventions on statelessness, although I don't think the UN has much power to enforce them if a signatory doesn't meet its obligations under them, and I think it's more a question of statelessness being seen as deeply undesirable and to be avoided if at all possible. (Hence the presumption in favour of not stripping citizenship if it would leave someone stateless.)

In a situation like Begum's, I think she would simply end up stateless and in limbo (like more than 4 million people, according to the UNHCR), unless she can get the appeal court's decision overturned by the UK Supreme Court and/or ultimately the European Court of Human Rights, or get Bangladesh to accept her as a citizen.

(NOT an immigration expert, just my understanding from reading around. Very happy to be corrected if someone knows more.)



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