Provost Pins King’s Slip on Protests

The Provost of King’s College has blamed a drop in grades last year on students attending protests against Government fee hikes.

demonstrations government grades juan zober de francisco kcsu King's College occupation Old Schools protests provost results Senate House student fees student rally

The head of King’s has blamed a slip in grades on students’ involvement in protests.

In the college’s annual report, Provost Ross Harrison referred to the drop in exam performance, saying that “the forward march of King’s has halted.” In the last academic year, King’s fell six places in The Tompkins Table from 14th place to 20th – the second-biggest drop of any college.

The Provost said: “if there’s anyone to gnash [for the drop] it’s the Government,” as King’s students “felt a special duty to resist the assault of the Government” and “flung themselves into resistance” against rising tuition fees.

Kings of the protest – the college’s students took a leading role in 2010’s Old Schools occupation

The college, traditionally more politically active than others in Cambridge, has seen many students engage in protests this year, meaning that “some of the most active political performers descended in their results.”

King’s led from the front at the first student rally in London, with ten times as many King’s students than any other college attending. They also took a regal for the Old Schools occupation in December 2010. King’s student Jacob Wills was controversially pepper-sprayed and arrested on college grounds after a local protest march.

And apparently, a drop from first-class grades to two-ones makes all the difference in the league tables.

It’s not certain that the two are directly linked, but former KCSU President, Juan Zober de Francisco, confirmed activism definitely takes up a lot of spare time.

“I had to miss a couple of supervisions as a result of my involvement in the Old Schools Occupation, ” says Juan. “I was lucky that this didn’t impact my final result.”

However, not everyone at King’s lives up to the politically-active stereotype. Last year a group of students formed the King’s College Lads’ Union (KCLU) in response to an overly political KCSU and “a distinct lack of banter.”