Edinburgh Uni ‘stuck in the Middle Ages’ according to RGU chief
We old af
The Vice-Chancellor of Robert Gordon University has slammed the so-called “Ancient Universities” for resisting government-imposed legislation to change the way they are run.
According to the ridiculously names Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal and Vice-Chancellor at the poly in Aberdeen, the last time any major changes happened to the Ancient unis, witch-hunting was still a thing.
He also said the Catholic Church was the only other entity in Britain to have survived this long unchanged and unchallenged.
Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Andrews, Aberdeen, and Dundee make up the list of ancient universities in Scotland and all have a Rector who presides over the universities’ governing body.
Von Prondzynski reckons the Rectorship is a “medieval” position.
He said this as part of review into the way some of the oldest unis in the world are run. It has come following the creation of the Higher Education Governance Bill back in 2011 which aimed to change the way universities in Scotland were run.
The Bill currently requires the governing bodies of Scottish universities to include two members elected by staff and two members elected by trade unions. This amendment would put the age-old position of rector under threat as it would cease to be the principal ruling position on governing bodies.
Edinburgh’s own rector Steve Morrison, who was elected at the end of last semester, has already expressed public opposition to the Bill citing the democratic nature of his appointment.
Mr Morrison said: “Every student and every member of staff, academic and non-academic, has the right to vote for the Rector who presides over the governing body of the university”.
Morrison, a former executive of an independent television group, is also a former Edinburgh student.
However, Von Prondzynski argues the current set up of Edinburgh’s governing body means its members are “accountable to no one” and refers to universities as “some of the most conservative bodies you will ever find” accusing them of being almost wholly economically driven.
Indeed, the importance of Rector has begun to wain in some of the other ancient Universities.
At Glasgow the role is considered largely symbolic; in 2014 the student body elected Edward Snowden, US whistleblower, as Rector and have been known to elect celebrities and other public figures.
Dundee’s current rector is Brian Cox, the renowned film and stage actor.