They really are trying it on, aren’t they?

A Roman Catholic pro-life midwifery student who was banned from her hospital placement has won an apology and payout from her university.

Julia Rynkiewicz, 25, faced suspension from midwifery studies and a four-month fitness-to-practise investigation as a result of her involvement in pro-life society

They tried to throw her off her course because she’d joined SPUC or whatever it’s called these days.

Despite the NHS rules saying that you don’t have to do abortions if you think they’re wrong.

One more brick in that wall of argument about university. It’s, more often than not these days, a method of insisting upon a set of beliefs than anything else.

11 thoughts on “They really are trying it on, aren’t they?”

  1. Given the number carried out each year, we must have by now passed 10,000,000 abortions in the UK since it was legalised.

    You’d have thought the supporters of ‘abortion as a form of contraception’ would have had a parade or something to mark the milestone.

  2. Yes, Andrew C, 10 million in the UK. And then we import replacements – often of a barbarous and inferior type.

  3. You’d have thought the supporters of ‘abortion as a form of contraception’ would have had a parade or something to mark the milestone.

    They could have a big party in the operating theatre with indoor fireworks, tv cameras and Leslie Crowther doing the announcement of their 10 millionth happy customer.

  4. She’s not one of the Shropshire Rinkieviczs, is she? Fine set of girls.

    We’ve often been told that we need to import people from overseas in order to maintain the impeccably high standards of health care that the NHS has always delivered. Obviously, they need to narrow the pool down a bit to ensure that they don’t import people from Catholic countries. Or Muslim or Buddhist.

  5. To what extent have universities in the UK been devaluated that apprentice midwives get their edumacation there?

  6. @Grikath

    Few decades back I used to work in adult education, most of the students being young mums going back to education. Nursing and midwifery were already graduate-only jobs back then and were always two of the most popular destinations for my adult ed cohort. Of the two, midwifery degrees were more academically competitive to get into.

    Incidentally don’t Dutch midwives require a four-year BSc from a university? (University of applied sciences being roughly a UK polytechnic as I understand it but a university nevertheless.) Pretty sure that’s standard across Europe.

  7. @MBE Nope.. highest level nursing ( including midwives) is college level.
    And college is very definitely not university over here. However much the “polytechnics” and trade schools/colleges like to pretend.
    College BSc lets you enroll in University in your field. College MSc Lets you skip the first two years towards Uni BSc, mostly, if you’re very sure of yourself.

    Lowest level Uni does in the medical field is general practitioner. Which midwives are not. They’re specialist nurses.

  8. @Grikath

    Sounds to me like we are merely quibbling about the definition of the word “University” – a term that has had many different meanings historically across many different countries. You’ve basically just said that Dutch midwives require a four-year BSc from a nursing/midwifery school at a Higher Education institution, largely identical to the training requirements in the UK and I believe (post-Bologna Process) across the EU. What you label that institution as is a matter of bureaucracy and officialdom really.

    The Dutch system still compartmentalises Higher Education institutions into a relatively rigid classification system – and the places you’re calling “college” (Dutch “hogeschool”) are officially called “universities of applied science” in English so arguing the toss over whether they are “universities” seems very semantic. They are certainly not research-intensive universities but they actually do have the right to bid for research contracts so it isn’t a completely hard distinction between them and the so-called “research universities” (Dutch: “universiteit”, which I presume is why you’re saying only this bunch are ‘universities’ in the Dutch sense, even though the others call themselves so in English).

    In the UK the sector is very heterogeneous and the word “university” is stretched over a wider spectrum including everything from tiny specialist professional schools (sometimes postgrad only, in some cases pretty much undergrad only, and a Dutch “University of Applied Science” would certainly be well over the criteria for such designation here) to the more classic idea of “University” as large, research-intensive and with substantial undergraduate and postgraduate teaching offerings. And even these “conventional” universities mix and match departments – some large academically prestigious universities have, and some do not have, departments of architecture, engineering, land economy, medicine, veterinary science and so on. As it happens, several academically prestigious universities have a nursing and midwifery school (Nottingham in this article, UEA, Anglia Ruskin, Cardiff and King’s London are examples of unis with both a med school and a nursing school which as I understand it is an impossible combination in the Netherlands), and several others used to but no longer do (UCL I think had one decades ago, and now has a nursing/midwifery research programme even though it no longer does undergraduate training).

    Even in the era when polytechnics were classed separately from universities here, the main distinction was that the university awarded its own degrees whereas the polytechnic had them validated by a university – you could study BSc engineering or business or whatever at either (there was a general trend for more practical subjects at a poly) and the difference was in the certificate. There wasn’t a complete separation of “X, Y and Z can only be studied at poly, A, B and C only at University” – and while some more academic subjects were historically University-only, former polytechnics now sometimes offer them (eg the successor to CCAT/Anglia Poly now has a med school). In fact some ex-poly places are, at least in their specialisms, academically very strong, even in their research component. As I said, it’s a fuzzy spectrum, and would be very hard to divide UK universities these days into strict categories. Then again, same applies if you take a broader view of the EU university/HE system as a whole – distinctions that work within one country don’t make sense in a cross-border comparison. Post-Bologna, I can’t see a sensible way to claim, in English, that “universities of applied science” are anything other than “universities” (broad sense) even if they’re not in Dutch given the
    Netherlands-specific designation of “universiteit”.

    Obviously cue the smug/snarky comments about how horrendous the ex-polys are and how one would never wish to send their kids to them (bit of a simplification bearing in mind some are pretty good especially in their focus of expertise) and the more interesting debate about whether we have too many universities, too many graduates and whether the UK might have done better to strengthen the poly system in a way similar to the Dutch approach… But saying nursing as a university degree suggests “dumbing down” of UK universities compared to the way nursing degrees are administered in the Netherlands is wrong in my view, and mostly reflects a difference in the historic evolution of the higher education landscape in the two countries, something even more fundamental than the UK poly/uni distinction. Most British people would be shocked if they knew how segregated the different high school routes through the Dutch under-18 system are, especially those who view the Netherlands as like a more liberal and progressive version of England, and this feeds in heavily into your higher education system. Some places in Britain briefly experimented with what I think we called “tripartite” education, with specialist clerical/vocational routes for the less academically inclined, but it never really took off outside Southampton if I recall correctly and didn’t even last all that long there.

  9. Having once audited their accounts, I can tell you for a fact that the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child, do NOT like the acronym SPUnK. Which is a shame really…

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