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HomeLive StreamManchester students pass vote of no confidence in vice-chancellor

Manchester students pass vote of no confidence in vice-chancellor

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Students at the University of Manchester have passed a vote of no confidence in its vice-chancellor.

Dame Nancy Rothwell has faced opposition over the university’s handling of the pandemic during the academic year, which included the erection of security fences around students’ halls of residence.

Students have now delivered a vote of no confidence in Dame Nancy and her senior management team.

Some 89% of the students who took part in a referendum said they agreed with the statement that the student body had “no confidence” in the vice-chancellor and other leaders at the institution.

The vote is non-binding and it will have to be considered by the university’s board of governors.

In November last year, Dame Nancy told BBC Newsnight that she had apologised to 19-year-old student Zach Adan who was allegedly racially profiled by security guards as he returned to his halls of residence.

The incident came amid ongoing protests by students who were campaigning for rent reductions after their face-to-face classes were halted and they experienced a series of issues with accommodation.

As part of the protests, students occupied the Owens Park Tower building in Fallowfield.

Protests also erupted on campus during the autumn term as the second lockdown began in England when a wire fence was erected overnight around accommodation without students being consulted.

Students pulled down the barriers on the University of Manchester’s Fallowfield campus in protest.

The referendum was held by the Students’ Union after a petition met the threshold number of signatures to trigger a vote.

A total of 4,590 students backed the no-confidence motion.

A spokesperson for the student-led campaign group, which has been calling for Dame Nancy to be removed from her post, said: “It’s now clear that the positions of Nancy Rothwell and her management are completely untenable having lost the support of the staff, students and thus the entire university.

“This is a historic vote and one we believe to be the first in the history of the University of Manchester.

“It’s apparent to anyone that the mistreatment of students and mishandling of the pandemic by the university over the past year has become an exemplar of how not to run a university.”

Whilst our senior leaders haven’t got everything right, where that has been the case, they have led from the front by apologising and have always taken action to ensure lessons are learnt and improvements are made

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