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Students protest fences at Fallowfield Campus

‘This caused great distress’: Nancy Rothwell speaks to The Mancunion following fence incident

The Mancunion has spoken to Manchester University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, following the events of yesterday, when fences were set up around Fallowfield campus.

Rothwell apologised for any distress caused by the decision to erect the fences, and said an enquiry would be established to determine exactly what happened.

Watch the full interview on The Mancunion’s Facebook here.

First-year students have expressed anger at what they perceived was a lack of communication about why the fences were set up in the first place.

The incident also attracted widespread press coverage and led to a furious backlash from students and parents alike.

The University are currently removing the fencing from around Fallowfield Campus in response to the widespread uproar.

Students still gathered yesterday evening to tear down the fences and to protest the University’s overall response to the pandemic and what they feel has been a “lack of mental health support” from the University, particularly for students in halls.

During the interview students also submitted questions to the Vice-Chancellor on topics including reduction in tuition fees, mental health support and facilities, library opening hours, and online learning.

Rothwell later said: “I want to apologise again for the distress caused by putting up the fence yesterday and the very poor communication surrounding this.

“As a matter of urgency, I have commissioned an inquiry into these events. This will be conducted by Professor Clive Agnew, a former Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students, and our intention is to also include a former Students’ Union Officer.

“They will examine how and, for what reasons, the decision to erect the fence around the residences on the Fallowfield campus was taken and how this decision was – or wasn’t – communicated to students.

“The report will be submitted by the end of November and we will publish the full report as soon as possible for all to see.”

Read more about yesterday’s events here:

Manchester University erects fences on campus as ‘lockdown security measure’

Manchester University students remove ‘lockdown’ fencing during huge protests


Tags: fallowfield campus, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, student protest, University lockdown, University of Manchester Vice-chancellor

Josh Sandiford

Deputy Editor
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