Lord Andrew Adonis has called for the creation of new undergraduate colleges at Oxford and Cambridge as a means to improving “access with excellence” to the universities for students from underrepresented backgrounds.The former Minister of State for Education suggested that founding new colleges with the specific mission of attracting applicants from state schools whose students do not usually apply would be more effective in increasing the number of state school pupils in Oxford and Cambridge than current outreach programmes and proposals such as implementing diversity-focused quotas.Under the proposals, educational charities such as Ark and Harris would be recruited as college founders with the task of creating “1,000 or more” additional places each year. The colleges would set precedents at the university for new ways of recruiting students not from an Oxbridge tradition.In an interview with Cherwell, Adonis said: “What we now need is bold dramatic reform which can only happen by significantly expanding the number of places at Oxford and allocating those additional places for widening participation.“By far the best way to achieve that is to have colleges which are focused like a laser on the task of widening access and aren’t part of the existing college system.”In response to the accusation that state-school-only colleges could create social divisions within Oxford, the Labour Peer said: “All students are on a par at Oxford and mixed together freely so I don’t think that there’s an issue of segregation at all.“The reason for doing this is not to segregate students but to expand access, and at the moment that is not being done. “It would be perverse to argue against a bold but practical initiative to expand access on the grounds that it would be better if these students weren’t there at all.”Senior figures at Oxford University have not yet expressed strong support for the proposals, with some suggesting that the plan would create a socially divided university atmosphere. Professor Martin Williams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at the University of Oxford, told Cherwell: “We share Lord Adonis’ aspiration to ensure the opportunities of an Oxford education are open to all talented students but his plan does not offer the across-the-board change we are looking for.”“We know that our undergraduates value the chance to mix with and learn from fellow students of all backgrounds, including our international students.“Oxford colleges were once segregated on the basis of gender and we don’t want to create new divisions on any grounds.”David Lammy MP, also a former Labour education minister, had previously proposed the centralisation of Oxford’s admissions system as a means to improve access to the university. Adonis was unenthusiastic about centralisation, telling Cherwell: “It may be a desirable thing to do, but it’s simply not going to happen because the location of power in the university lies with the colleges, so short of a root and branch reform of the governance of Oxford – which isn’t going to happen – it’s going nowhere as a proposal.“The way we’ve always brought about big reform in the past in Oxford where underrepresented groups – whether they be graduates or women, or religious minorities – get proper representation at Oxford is to make new colleges.“In fact almost every new college in Oxford has been set up with a dedicated mission in mind.”Adonis was supportive of the Foundation Year course at Lady Margaret Hall, but suggested that it did not make enough of an impact in expanding Oxford’s access and outreach: “If you look at what’s happening in LMH, I applaud what’s being done, but the numbers are very small.“If we had three colleges set up, that’s 500 more students a year.”Though Adonis said he was “keen to help found one of these colleges” he did not express any intention to be formally associated with a new Oxford college: “I can absolutely guarantee in blood that no college which I play any part in founding will have my name attached to it or to any building which is a part of it.“One Adonis in England is quite enough.”
“We could develop a whole new workshop on building for a war zone,” said UGA Cooperative Extension engineer Michael Czarick. After coming to the United States solo in 2006 to learn about keeping chickens warm in the winter, Kaye brought seven other growers and two Israeli extension workers back for the hot weather workshop.He wasn’t the only international attendee. The workshop, which gives Georgians priority, pulled participants from 15 states and nine countries. Czarick said this mix adds value to the workshop far beyond the lecture and learn structure. “What’s nice about the diverse crowd is that there’s a lot of knowledge transferred,” he said.Czarick, UGA poultry scientist Brian Fairchild and UGA Extension engineer John Worley have been training poultry producers, equipment dealers, service people, college students and UGA Extension agents on the ins and outs of keeping poultry cool for 11 years. “We started the first one and thought we would do it one time,” Czarick said. The initial training was limited to broiler producers in Georgia. But the companies represented in the first workshop wanted to offer it to more of their employees. Then international groups got word.“Though it’s a Georgia workshop, it’s the only thing of its kind in the world,” he said. This year, the workshop covered everything from the importance of air speed in tunnel-ventilated houses to exhaust fan selection.Faircloth’s session on managing bird migration in tunnel houses went over the importance of putting up fences in a chicken house. He explained that chickens like to move toward the wind. Keeping chickens spread evenly throughout a house to prevent heat buildup is like “herding cats, although chickens are a little easier,” he said.Christine Maziero, a veterinarian from Concordia, Brazil, spent years using information from UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences on how to incorporate minimum ventilation in their poultry houses.The workshop is “helping us to understand better all of the systems and improving our barn construction,” she said. “After being in touch with these people who have much knowledge, it’s a pleasure to be here and be exchanging information, not just from Georgia but people in other countries.”The fall workshop on tunnel ventilation will be held in October. For more information, contact Michael Czarick at (706) 542-9041 or [email protected](Stephanie Schupska is a news editor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) By Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaThe one thing Stanley Kaye didn’t learn at the poultry workshop at the University of Georgia was how to protect his chicken houses from mortar attacks.Kaye, a chicken grower from Alumim, Israel, was in Athens for the tunnel ventilation workshop. Apart from the two mortars that have smashed into his chicken houses, he said that the summertime growing conditions in Israel are similar to those in Georgia with daytime highs between 90 and 100 degrees.