Cardiff lecturer accidentally shares video calling students ‘idiots’

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Cardiff lecturer accidentally shares video calling students ‘idiots’

A lecturer was left red-faced after uploading a video to a shared portal showing herself calling students 'absolute idiots'. In the video, senior

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A lecturer was left red-faced after uploading a video to a shared portal showing herself calling students ‘absolute idiots’. 

In the video, senior lecturer Dr Helen McCarthy complains to Cardiff University colleagues about a student sharing a petition during her lecture.

She said the student ‘p***ed me off’ and joked about there being an ‘uprising’.   

The clip was accidentally recorded and uploaded to the student portal with Bioscience students at Cardiff University discovering it among lecture recordings and sharing it widely.   

Dr McCarthy said: ‘It p***ed me off yesterday. I hadn’t even started my lecture and [student] put a chat notice up for my lecture with a website petition, stating that they were going to protest about the four hour examination period and there was no safety net policy.’  

Exam safety nets were used by universities last summer amid the coronavirus pandemic and guaranteed that low marks in a test did not bring down a student’s average mark. 

Dr McCarthy was also responding to another lecturer on the call who said she had received an email about students on the module being ‘incredibly stressed’ due to having just four hours for their exam. 

In reference to student complaints of a lack of safety net this year compared to last she added: ‘This is what happens you give them a safety net and all of a sudden you take that away and they’re like ‘oh my God’.

‘Well, students have graduated for hundreds of years without the bloody safety net policy how do you think we all got here.’

Dr McCarthy also joked that ‘there is an uprising’ amongst students.

When another lecturer on the call suggests that fears over the safety net and exam hours may be the reason for recent absences, Dr McCarthy responds: ‘What are they doing? Protesting with their absence? Idiots, absolute idiots’.

Dr McCarthy also joked that 'there is an uprising' amongst students in the video with her colleagues

Dr McCarthy also joked that ‘there is an uprising’ amongst students in the video with her colleagues

The clip was accidentally recorded and uploaded to the student portal with Bioscience students at Cardiff University discovering it among lecture recordings and sharing it widely

The clip was accidentally recorded and uploaded to the student portal with Bioscience students at Cardiff University discovering it among lecture recordings and sharing it widely

She also talked about trying to remove the student’s comment before finally posting it in the chat herself, instructing other students not to reply and labelling the situation ‘ridiculous’. 

In a message to the head of year, a student representative said: ‘Students certainly feel that they are upset and have lost trust in Dr. McCarthy, the extenuating circumstances procedure, and perhaps the school and uni as a whole in some cases.

‘Dr McCarthy is one of the key figures in granting extenuating circumstances within this faculty, according students.

‘These comments really downplay not only the struggles that students are going through as a whole, but are distressing to people who have perhaps missed lectures or have not performed their best due to personal circumstances surrounding the pandemic.’

Cardiff University has since apologised for the comments made by the lecturer and said they do not reflect the university’s views. 

A Cardiff University spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of these comments. Such comments do not represent the official view of the University or the School and we apologise for any offence that has been caused.

‘We would encourage any student who is experiencing difficulties with their studies to access the support and advice that is available at both School and University level.

‘We are investigating, and it would be inappropriate to comment further until our investigations have concluded.’

Dr Helen McCarthy has been approached for comment.

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