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Showing posts from April, 2012

Email to Richard Sanders. Unanswered.

Dear Professor Sanders,

As a mature student at Northampton preparing for a dissertation on postcolonial studies, I was most interested to read about the work that the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Enterprise and Governance has done with the Chinese Government.

I'm not sure if it's something I will be able to use in my dissertation yet, but I am particularly keen to find out what sort of ethical considerations a body like yours brings to bear on its dealings with a government colonising another country, as China is colonising Tibet.

As you will know hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result of the Chinese occupation of Tibet, including those who've taken the tragic decision to self-immolate - the exact number of these is not known, but most calculations put it at around 30 since 2008.

Does your centre address these issues with its Chinese partners? Are concerns passed to the appropriate bodies before British expertise is shared? Or are these issues considered out…

For Those Who Need To See It

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THIS PHOTO SUMS UP WHY I CONTINUE TO PRESS MY CASE ABOUT NORTHAMPTON UNIVERSITY'S SHAMEFUL INVOLVEMENT WITH THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT, AND WHY THE REFUSAL OF ALMOST EVERYONE I HAVE APPROACHED ON THE STAFF HERE EVEN TO ACKNOWLEDGE MY RIGHT TO RAISE CONCERNS DISGRACES THEM.

The Help That Never Came

Since the lecturers' union rep completely ignored my appeal to them for help re: the University stonewalling me on China, here's a slightly edited version of the email I sent him.

Dear       ,

I am a mature student (no. 10341251) at Northampton in the second year of an English degree. I have been advised to contact you about some concerns I have with regard to the university and its involvement with the Chinese Government.

In Tibet, approximately 30 people have self-immolated since 2009 to protest the continuing Chinese presence there; arrests and disappearances are commonplace; dissenters are sent for "re-education"; monks are made to denounce the Dalai Lama; the diminishing number of monasteries is subject to Government monitoring; Chinese citizens (Tibet is used as a population overspill for China) are paid to report on the activities of Tibetans; Chinese language textbooks are replacing Tibetan books in schoolrooms; and the rich natural resources are being scaven…

Rude Notes in a Den of Whores: The Truth About Northampton and China

Another week has gone by since I posted about a mysterious 'new lead' in my long quest to have someone at Northampton University engage with me over China and Tibet, and not surprisingly, I haven't heard a thing from him. Clearly, nobody in this place is going to talk to me, not even the lecturers' union - you know, those people who were supposed to care about these things.

In the meantime, on Thursday last week, the local paper - who wouldn't publish a letter from me on the subject either - announced that the University was expected to have the sixth largest fall in the number of enrollments for 2012/ 13 in the whole country. Which works out, apparently, at roughly 350 fewer students.

Of course, this had nothing to do with increased tuition fees, according to someone from the University, and was "in line with their predictions" (they used some management-speak phrase like that). And the Uni wasn't concerned because they were seeing a concomitant ris…

My "Tibet Thing": The Leads Keep Tumbling

I have a powerful feeling I'm heading for another disappointment with what even I have come to think of as "my Tibet thing" and Northampton University. I've been given another lead. Another chance to make my point. To get my voice heard. But it seems to be going the same way as all the others.

I've been stonewalled by the powers that be here for so long now I wondered for a while if my emails were even getting out. You look for reasons. Rational, if paranoid, explanations that might justify the total lack of engagement by anybody in authority with your complaint.

Here's a simple one: they don't give a shit. There's just too much money involved in the university having a high profile in the business community for it to risk being viewed as (excuse the expression) ethical. And there's too little money being made from my presence as a student here for my dissenting view to matter. Students aren't even supposed to have a dissenting view. People ar…

Shouting in an Empty Room: How Northampton Deals with Dissent

My email to the careers officer was, predictably, ignored. It seems to be the way Northampton University deals with dissent. I've just had a whole load more 'meet the employer' emails from the university delivered to my inbox.

I did have what looked like another chance to raise the issue of Tibet last week. Every year at the university - it's probably the same everywhere - they send out 'student satisfaction' surveys and these go back directly to the office of Nick Petford, the Vice-Chancellor. I'd had mine lying in my inbox for a few days and I'd done nothing about it. I don't, for the most part, believe these things are a legitimate exercise in improving the student experience. But when Mr. Petford failed to answer my email and the university's Facebook page also ignored me, I realised the survey might be a golden opportunity to get somebody to acknowledge my concerns. How naive could an old man be.

With all my usual flaming indignation I fil…