St Andrews students told to 'pass' diversity and consent modules
Students at St Andrews are told they must ‘pass’ diversity and consent modules BEFORE they can begin studies – and are marked wrong if they don’t accept their ‘personal guilt’
- The institution in Scotland said prospective pupils had to accept ‘personal guilt’
- They ‘pass’ by giving certain answers to compulsory questions on the subjects
- It comes as a raft of schools and companies bow to pressure to run the schemes
- Britons are forced into courses on anti-bullying, anti-racism and climate change
- But there has been backlash against the ‘indoctrination and stifling free speech’
St Andrews University has enforced diversity modules for students before they are accepted on a course.
The institution in Fife, Scotland, which topped the Good University Guide this year, said prospective pupils had to accept ‘personal guilt’.
They ‘pass’ by giving certain answers to compulsory questions on sustainability, consent and good academic practice.
It comes as a raft of schools, universities and companies bow to pressure to run the controversial training programmes.
Britons are being forced to take courses on anti-bullying, anti-racism and climate change despite questions over whether they work.
Academics and politicians have hit out at the schemes, warning they are a form of indoctrination and stifle free speech.
St Andrews University has enforced diversity modules for new students (pictured during the traditional Pier Walk in 2017) before they are accepted on a course
The institution in Fife, Scotland, which topped the Good University Guide this year, said prospective pupils had to accept ‘personal guilt’
‘Unconscious bias’ is a term used to describe when people make assumptions about others without realising they are doing so.
It is mostly associated with the ‘woke’ movement – while critics dismiss it.
The University of California, San Francisco, claims ‘everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups’.
Edinburgh University says it can result in people being treated unfairly because of their gender, ethnicity or disability.
‘Workplace relationships experts’ Acas say unconscious bias sometimes stems from stereotypes. They give the example of assuming someone with tattoos is unlikely to follow rules.
The term has only recently entered common discourse, but is already prompting corporations to implement specialist training for staff.
MPs were also invited to undergo unconscious bias training – although some refused.
Critics argue the training is nothing more than a corporate box-ticking exercise. Dr Frank Dobbin, Harvard University social sciences professor, argues that compulsory diversity training simply doesn’t work and can often make things worse.
St Andrews’ modules ask students to agree with sentences such as: ‘Acknowledging your personal guilt is a useful start point in overcoming unconscious bias.’
If a pupil tick that they ‘disagree’ they are ‘incorrect’ and are forced to redo the course if they get too many ‘wrong’.
Another question in the tests reportedly says: ‘Does equality mean treating everyone the same?’
But students who put yes are sent the message: ‘That’s not right, in fact equality may mean treating people differently and in a way that is appropriate to their needs so that they have fair outcomes and equal opportunity.’
Another part of the test says: ‘It is important to think about and understand our own prejudices and stereotypes so we don’t treat someone else unfairly or inappropriately.’
Meanwhile further questions ask what year St Andrews approve its biodiversity strategy and the time it takes to get to Dundee on a bus.
One student blasted the move, saying it forces them to agree with claims that contradict academic free speech.
She told the Times: ‘I wasn’t happy with it, effectively you had to agree with what they’re saying and these statements weren’t factual things, these were opinions.’
She said it was putting freshers between a rock and a hard place because they did not want to start at the university by complaining.
She added: ‘It seems like they [the university] are pushing an agenda and it appears performative and contrary to academic freedom and freedom of thought.’
The Scottish University is not the first to move towards these courses, with Kent also making students complete bizarre induction training.
St Andrews’ modules ask students to agree with sentences such as: ‘Acknowledging your personal guilt is a useful start point in overcoming unconscious bias.’ Pictured: Vice Chancellor Professor Sally Mapstone
It gets pupils to take a module which suggests wearing second-hand clothes and using swear words are ‘white privilege’.
But it was slammed by the institution’s emeritus professor of sociology Frank Furedi, who said it was ‘a corrosive form of indoctrination’.
Meanwhile Professor of Education at Derby University Dennis Hayes said such courses are ‘reducing universities to training institutions in woke ideology’.
St Andrews university has been approached for comment.
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