Newcastle University

Scientist donates royalties from cancer drug to establish charity fund

A scientist who was awarded £865,000 for her work in creating a cancer drug has given it all away to establish a charitable fund.

Nicola Curtin, a professor at Newcastle University, was involved in the development of Rubraca, a new ovarian drug that has been approved for use on the NHS.

Instead of keeping the proceeds for herself Professor Curtin donated it to the Curtin PARP (Passionate About Realising your Potential) Fund at the Community Foundation.

The fund aims to help disadvantaged people get back into work.

Professor Nicola Curtin

Professor Curtin said she donated the money because she is "not driven by getting lots of money".

"I'm driven by the science and wanting to improve people's lives," she added.

The fund will support a range of activities to help people to develop the skills, talents and confidence to overcome barriers to employment or education.

Priority will be given to carers, black and minority ethnic people, disabled people, homeless people and people who are experiencing disadvantage that prevents them from realising their potential.

Durham and Newcastle University staff strike over pensions and pay

Staff at two North East universities, Durham and Newcastle, are starting eight days of strike action from today.

It is part of a national dispute over pay, working conditions and pensions.

Staff taking action are members of the University and College Union.

The universities say strikes are not the way forward and promise to do all they can to minimise the impact of industrial action on students.

University student
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New chancellor for Newcastle University

Poet, artist and video film-maker Imtiaz Dharker is the new chancellor of Newcastle University.

A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, she takes up the role from January 1 next year.

Imtiaz was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014.

Born in Lahore and raised in Glasgow, themes of social justice run throughout her work.

She said: “I am proud to take on this role, especially when I think that this was the only University in the United Kingdom to give Dr Martin Luther King an honorary degree during his lifetime, and that he came and stood in this place to receive it.

“I was here last summer, and thought it would be a great place to be a student again. In a way I will be, because coming to it now I hope to learn from and be inspired by the people I meet, by the vitality of its academic staff and students. I thank them for their faith in me, and look forward with great pleasure to being Chancellor of this exceptional University."

Imtiaz is also an artist of note. She has had more than 10 solo exhibitions of drawings in Delhi, Bangalore, London, New York and Hong Kong.

Poet and artist Imtiaz Dharker
Ayesha Dharker

Pay rise for Real Living Wage workers

More than 2,500 people in the North East will be getting a pay rise as the Real Living Wage increases from £9 an hour to £9.30 from today.

It's a rate that's paid voluntarily by employers who have signed up with the Living Wage Foundation - and it's £1.09 an hour more than the National Living Wage set by the government.

About 100 firms in the North East have signed up and Newcastle University is the latest, benefiting about 500 staff.

You can read more about the national picture by clicking here.

University workers vote for eight-day strike

BBC News Education

University lecturers and support staff at University of Durham and Newcastle University are to strike for eight days in disputes over pay and pensions.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) will walk out between 25 November and 4 December, following votes in favour of industrial action.

The strike action will affect 60 universities across the UK, UCU says.

The group Universities UK said it hoped the action would not go ahead, but said plans were in place to ensure disruption to students is minimal.

As well as the eight days of strike action, union members will begin other forms of industrial action when they return to work, such as working strictly to contract, not covering for absent colleagues and refusing to reschedule lectures lost to strike action.

In total, the UCU says 43 universities are taking industrial action over both pensions and pay and conditions.

University students
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Industrial action proposed at universities

Academic staff are due to take industrial action at two of the regions universities this month.

Members of the University and College Union unhappy about pensions, pay and working conditions will walk out for eight days from Monday 25 November to Wednesday 4 December.

As well as the industrial action, union members will begin “action short of a strike” when they return to work, which involves not covering for absent colleagues and refusing to reschedule lectures lost to strike action.

Ethnic minority students say cases of racism are never reported

BBC Newcastle

Around a quarter of ethnic minority university students have experienced racism since starting their studies, according to a new report.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published findings of a survey which shows many students don't have faith their complaints will be dealt with properly, and many cases are never reported.

The watchdog also accuses institutions of failing to address the scale of the issue for fear of damaging their reputations.

Even finding academic tutors who are going to take time to listen to you is very difficult. It's the bureaucracy of student services. You're going to go to student services, but then it's got to be followed up and followed up. There's just a chain of hierarchy, and you can't get through to who you need to.The issue often goes unsolved because of that chain."

RaheemaNewcastle University student

Universities UK says it was "shocking" people were experiencing racism on campus, and they accept more needs to be done.