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Stephen Toope embodied all that is rotten about our universities - by Madeline Grant

The retiring Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University will, predictably, be remembered by different groups for very different reasons according to Madeline Grant in today's Telegraph.

"One Cambridge university councillor hailed the vice-chancellor’s contributions to student life; his commitment to zero carbon and “sustainability”, his efforts to make the institution more “transparent and robust in its processes”. In truth, Toope should be remembered for tarnishing Cambridge’s moral and intellectual credibility; suppressing debate and academic freedom."

What should concern us all has been the tendency to suppress rather than open up intellectual debate across university campuses and Toope, it appears, was in the vanguard of this movement.

"On his watch, Cambridge kowtowed to China and rebuffed all criticism. Far from promoting transparency, inquiring journalists have found it remarkably difficult to extract answers from Toope, or Cambridge itself, about any of it. His tenure embodied much of what is wrong with British universities – so, despite his welcome departure, the rot goes deeper."

She concludes with these damning words:

"Suppression of free speech, an increasingly rotten deal for students, capitulation to China and a grotesque misplaced sanctimony, university authorities have been getting away with it for far too long. From now on, we cannot just be tough on Toope, but tough on the causes of Toopism.

The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:

Article for the Telegraph by Madeline Grant - Stephen Toope embodied all that is rotten ab
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