International News in Brief – February 5th

 
 

Cambridge Graduate Union President owes £1,000 in missing earnings

The President of Cambridge University’s Graduate Students’ Union (CGU) Arsalan Ghani, has been accused of being involved with the disappearance of £1,000 from the Union’s safe.  Ghani has been labelled by fellow members of CGU as being abusive towards his co-workers and attempting to fire other committee members despite not having the authority to do so.

A student close to the CGU said of Ghani: “He has no grasp of how to actually be the president. He has a set notion of what it is to be in a position of power. That notion is to bully, intimidate and to refuse to work with a team.”

Following a meeting held in September concerning the Unions lack of trust in Ghani, the University discovered that the CGU had been operating in an illegal state, with Ghani being their only trustee.

Ghani later ran an international event under the CGU name, with no other members of the CGU being notified. The proceeds were not given to the Union and Ghani has refused to discuss what he had done with them, and so far he has only returned £100.

British Columbia female professors to get pay increase.

Every female faculty member of the University of British Columbia (UBC) is getting a 2% pay increase. According to research conducted since 2007, the female professors at UBC earn 2% less than their male counterparts and will now receive an increase retrospective to their wages earned since July 2010. It is not currently known how this will affect the University budget, however it is expected to be significant.

The studies taken have found that even when taking into account such things as job rank and title, the pay gap was unexplainable. “Even after you factored in women being at different ranks, and men being at different ranks, and the conclusion arrived at was the 2% difference across the board really could only be explained by gender,” said Gurdeep Parhar, UBC associate vice-president equity.

Under Human Rights Law, UBC has an obligation not to discriminate based on gender so the findings could not be ignored; the fact that currently, only 21% of full professors in the college are female also came under scrutiny.

Australian college students in $28 billion debt

Due to the taking out of several government loans over the past 20 years, Australia’s university students now owe tax payers $28 billion. The loans have been taken out to cover the expensive costs of tuition and a report released states that $6 billion worth of the sum is unlikely to be paid back, and this number is increasing annually.

Australia’s loan scheme allows students to take money from the government under the premise that they will pay it back as a set percentage of their annual income, rising with their income. However, if the graduate was unable to reach the income minimum for surcharge, or if the student emigrated, they would escape the debt and the tax would not apply.

The government has now introduced a ‘demand-driven’ system where universities can admit as many students as they like to help disadvantaged students and also to combat falling international student figures. This however has had the effect of increasing the government’s debt.

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