OxStu Bitesize: Issue 324th July 2017 By Charlie Willis
Oxford keeps ticking even when its students are on holiday – so we at the OxStu News team have put together a weekly newsletter for all your Oxford news in one quick bite. Every Monday, to start your week, we’ll bring student, university, research and city news all together in one place.
NUS student finances report released
The NUS recently released a report surveying students on their financial situations. The results indicated an inability to budget among current students, as well as a concerning lack of preparation for university costs among incoming freshers. See our article for details.
University building found laden with asbestos
Oxford University’s Tinbergen building has been evacuated and may be demolished following the discovery of asbestos during refurbishment. Temporary buildings are to be constructed to house the departments of Zoology and Experimental Psychology.
Helen Ghosh to become new Balliol master
Current director general of the National Trust Dame Helen Ghosh, alumna of Oxford University, is set to become the first woman master of Balliol College. On her upcoming position Dame Helen said: “I look forward to welcoming students from the widest possible range of backgrounds to the college and to helping create a supportive and stimulating environment in which they can fulfil their potential.”
Biology professor appeals for return of stolen CBE medal
Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology Denis Noble has asked for the return of his CBE medal and ribbon awarded in 1998, after thieves broke into his home and stole it among other valuables. Professor Noble asked that they send the medal to Balliol College, and added: “It was for services to science in 1998, and I felt very, very pleased for that.”
Bod showcases best worldwide designer bookbinding
The Bodleian’s Heroic Works display is running from 17 July to 20 August, showcasing picked entries from the Designer Bookbinders 3rd International Bookbinding Competition 2017. Themed “Myths, Heroes and Legends”, 74 designer bindings are on display, featuring hugely varied techniques including leather, hand-drawn design, pop-ups and acrylic.
Marine scientists from the University’s Department of Zoology have presented a United Nations panel with findings urging legal protection for the world’s oceans. The research looked at 271 academic studies published in the last five years and found that climate change, overfishing, deep-sea mining and pollution is of immediate and severe risk to the high seas.
Cecil the lion’s son, Xanda, one of the lions tracked by Oxford University researchers at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, has been killed by hunters. His death jeopardises the future of his seven cubs, already endangered, who are now at risk from usurping pride males. Andrew Loveridge, University Research Fellow, said: “As researchers, we are saddened at the death of a well-known study animal we have monitored since birth.”
Spanish royals visit Oxford
King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia came to Oxford as part of a state visit on 14 July. The Royals visited the Weston Library, the Bodleian, the University’s Divinity School and Exeter College for a presentation from the Bod special collections team including a 15th century woodcut map of Spain and a reception for Spanish students and staff, as well as those researching, studying and teaching on Spain.
Greens condemn homelessness fines
Oxford’s Green Councillors have criticised the city council for threatening to take rough sleepers to court for obstruction. Green Group Leader Cllr David Thomas said: “Threatening [the homeless] with fines and a criminal record for having nowhere else to sleep is a new low.” See our article for details.
Oxford to become cycling city
Signs branding Oxford a “cycling city” have been unveiled as part of a push to increase cycle usage and safety, in light of congestion, air pollution and rising accident rates. The scheme emulates the success of Oxford’s twin city Leiden, where 70 percent of people commute by bicycle, through incremental changes over the next 20 years.
William James, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Planning & Resources at the University, said: “With 31% of the University’s staff cycling to work and 42% of its students using their bike to travel to lectures, it is essential that Oxford becomes a safe and pleasant place to cycle.”
Mental health hospital to be built
A new mental health hospital is planned for the site of Warneford Hospital in Headington, which is approaching its 200th anniversary in 2026. Opened as the Oxford Lunatic Asylum in 1826, the hospital is set to undergo dramatic changes: the Highfield Unit for children and young people will be used as a standalone hospital, and worker accommodation will be built onsite to alleviate issues with recruitment and retention.
Poster campaign against hate crimes launched
Oxford City Council and Thames Valley Police are launching a poster campaign urging those who experience or witness hate crime to report it. According to the city council reports of racist and homophobic incidents increased in number by more than 40 percent last year. Shaista Aziz, an Oxford anti-racism campaigner who worked on the campaign with the council and police, said: “Oxford is an international city, we are a city proud of our diversity and we stand in solidarity with anyone subjected to abuse based on their identity.”
In case you missed it, here’s last week’s newsletter, Issue 2.
Oxstu Bitesize 24/07/17 – compiled by Charlie Willis.