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University head insists giving Tony Sewell honorary degree would upset students

University head insists giving Tony Sewell honorary degree would upset students
The University of Nottingham refused to reverse its decision to revoke an honorary doctorate from Dr Tony Sewell, chair of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Inequalities

The University of Nottingham refused to reverse its decision to revoke an honorary doctorate from Dr Tony Sewell, chair of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Inequalities

A university has refused to reverse its decision to deny the government’s race czar an honorary doctorate.

The head of the University of Nottingham claims controversy over the award would overshadow the graduation ceremony, upsetting students and their families.

The Daily Mail revealed last month that Nottingham had withdrawn its offer to Tony Sewell after its controversial report concluded there was no evidence that the UK is institutionally racist. The report sparked furious outbursts from Labor and the race relations lobby.

A group of 50 Tory MPs wrote to the university to demand a reconsideration, pointing out that Nottingham had given honorary degrees to Chinese diplomats who deny the Uyghur genocide in their country.

Now Vice Chancellor Professor Shearer West says it will continue to award the award to Dr. Sewell—who received his PhD from Nottingham in 1995—would overshadow the students’ own graduation ceremonies.

She said that because honorary degrees were awarded at the same events, the rules had been changed several years ago “to prevent awards from being awarded to figures who, knowingly or through no fault of their own, become the subject of political controversy, so that a day of celebration for our graduates don’t attract much controversy either’.

This was “to make sure our graduates don’t overshadow their party due to potential distractions.”

Professor West said that if the award had gone ahead “it would have given our graduates and their families a diminished experience for this vital rite of passage, especially when so many have been denied this very special day by the Covid-19 pandemic and have had to wait”.

Tory MP Sir John Hayes, who organized the letter, said: ‘The university is struggling.

The excuse that Tony Sewell’s honorary doctorate would have disturbed the graduating students is as thin as it gets.

Nottingham withdrew its offer to Tony Sewell after his controversial report concluded there was no evidence that the UK is institutionally racist.  Other recipients include former Chinese ambassador Liu Xiaoming, who dismissed Uyghur re-education camps as 'fake news'

Nottingham withdrew its offer to Tony Sewell after his controversial report concluded there was no evidence that the UK is institutionally racist. Other recipients include former Chinese ambassador Liu Xiaoming, who dismissed Uyghur re-education camps as ‘fake news’

“The implication is that the students are such snowflakes and are so used to strong arguments and counter-arguments after three years of studying at Nottingham that they can’t handle what the university calls controversy.”

The MPs’ letter criticized the decision to revoke Dr Sewell’s diploma “simply because he earned the ire of some frustrated ideologues for his widely acclaimed work” for the government’s race report.

They added, “Dr. Sewell is a uniquely distinguished alumnus of your university, who for years has helped thousands of black children from poor backgrounds into higher education.”

They pointed to the “absurdity” of the decision as other recipients of honorary degrees from Nottingham included former Chinese ambassador Liu Xiaoming, who dismissed Uyghur reeducation camps as “fake news”, and Najib Razak, the ex-Malaysian prime minister who served up to 12 years was sentenced to prison. year due to eclipse.

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