Recent criticisms of staff attitudes feed into a wider series of complaints.
Students have criticised a University staff member online after insensitive comments comparing a move around Greater Glasgow to international students being unable to return home was made on a Zoom call with students.
Controversy was sparked after one of the clinical leads for the year shared their experience of having to move from Renfrew to Glasgow when they were attending university. This stimulated conversation both online and offline: a student then tweeted about how they have been unable to see their family for two years, “and all the [University staff member] can say, in trying to empathise, is that they once had to move 20 minutes from home.”
The comment follows a year of complaints from the students, where many expressed disappointment regarding the handling of Covid-19-related issues online. This includes the initial decision to have students redoing oral exams they had previously passed (which has since been overturned). The lack of time off post-exams also became a complaint on Twitter, particularly with respect to the immediate return to online teaching for fifth years.
These complaints feed into issues on a university-wide scale felt by students up and down the country during the pandemic. Recently the government has been accused of behaving in a “disrespectful” manner towards students, but almost a year ago, the return to halls caused conflict between student groups, local communities and the government too, as Covid-19 outbreaks resulted in students being “locked down in their university halls“.
The University of Glasgow’s medical program is ranked second in the United Kingdom and garners a lot of attention from international students. A notable portion of every batch are students from abroad. Some international students hope that the medical school will take this feedback to try and address their concerns to create a better course for future international students choosing to study here.
*Names not mentioned to preserve anonymity