US Students Protest over Universities’ Use of Facial Recognition

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In this week’s news roundup we speak about Australian universities that are pressured to produce online courses for international students, protests in the USA over the use of facial recognition at universities and brain drain fear at Scottish universities.

Facial recognition

Australian universities pressured to produce online courses

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australian university staff feels pressured to produce online content in the midst of coronavirus. National President of the National Tertiary Education Union Dr Alison Barnes stated: “I’m worried about staff falling over and want vice-chancellors to be mindful of the health and well-being of staff. Universities are trading on the generosity of their employees. Management need to make sure the staff’s health and safety is taken into consideration.” Previously, Unversity of Sydney reported that they produced over 1,000 units of study in just three weeks. The content is expected to be sufficient for the next five weeks.

Students protest over universities’ use of facial recognition

The Guardian reports that students across the USA protested over the plan to use facial recognition at universities. The proposed program was first introduced at the University of California, but after the protests, it was decided to drop the technology. Protest included both online actions such as petitions and staged protests on campuses. The biggest problem with technology was found within the facial recognition, where many matches were incorrect. The majority of those misidentified were people of color. Dominique Coronel, a student at DePaul University, said: “Education should be a safe place, but this technology hurts the most vulnerable people in society.”

Brain drain fear at Scottish universities

The Scotsman reports that numbers of European students in Scotland significantly declined since the Brexit vote. This prompted fears that Scotland could be academically cut off from the rest of the world. Since 2016, there has been a 10 percent decline in the total number of students coming from the EU. A UK government spokesperson said: “We have confirmed international students will be able to stay in the UK for two years after they graduate, making the UK’s offer even more attractive and easier for them to secure skilled jobs in the UK.”

Photo: Shutterstock

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