Remove Toby Young from the Office for Students Now
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It is hard to imagine someone more unsuited to a role as board member of the Office for Students, the newly created universities watchdog. Toby Young has insulted teachers, telling them they don't work hard enough. He has criticised David Lammy MP for saying that Oxbridge needed to improve access. He said that wheelchair ramps in schools are an example of ‘ghastly, politically correct’ inclusiveness. He also said "Schools have got to be 'inclusive' these days. That means wheelchair ramps, the complete works of Alice Walker in the school library (though no Mark Twain) and a Special Educational Needs Department that can cope with everything from Dyslexia to Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy." He called on the government to "repeal the Equality Act because any exam that isn't 'accessible' to a functionally illiterate troglodyte with a mental age of six will be judged to be 'elitist' and therefore forbidden by Harman's Law". He has made far too many sexist comments about women, usually in the form of laddish comments about breasts, than I have space here to mention.
He described working-class grammar school boys who managed to get in to Oxford as “universally unattractive” and “small, vaguely deformed undergraduates”. He referred to working-class students as “stains” and complained they had changed the university.
Possibly the life event which demonstrates his clear lack of qualification for this post is ability to get in to Oxford University, only through a quirk of fate and an act of nepotism. After failing to achieve 3 B's he was accidentally offered a place. When the University explained it was a mistake his dad phoned up and got the university to accept him.
This appointment stinks of Cronyism. It's a decision akin to making Katie Hopkins the head of the Refugee Council. How can a person who despises so many students and has shown himself to be a bigot and a fraud, represent the views of all students? How can this perpetual manboy be expected to fulfil this role on behalf of all students?
With only one student on the board, the sensible choice is staring us in the face. A body which is supposed to regulate universities in the interests of students ought to have a stronger student voice.
I have 3 teenage daughters who I hope will attend university. To imagine Toby Young could possibly represent their interests is anathema to me. I have brought them up to behave much better than he does and to respect only those who have standards of public behaviour far higher than he has.
Please replace Toby Young with someone who intends to make a positive difference for all students attending university and has the credentials to do so.
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