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World and Press August 1 2022

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6 Britain

6 Britain August 1 2022 | World and Press Too many first-class degrees awarded in England, regulator says EDUCATION Minister calls for universities to restore pre-pandemic award levels by next year. mit Audiodatei By Richard Adams 1 UNIVERSITIES in England have been rebuked for awarding “excessive” numbers of first-class degrees during the pandemic, with ministers and regulators accusing the sector of undermining its own reputation. 2 The Office for Students (OfS) published analysis claiming that more than half of first-class degrees awarded in 2021 could not be explained by “observable factors” such as prior results or social background of students. Susan Lapworth, the OfS’s interim chief executive, said: “Unmerited grade inflation is bad for students, graduates, and employers, and damages the reputation of English higher education.” 3 Michelle Donelan, the universities minister for England, said universities should respond in the same way as A-level and GCSE exams and restore prepandemic award levels by next year. “Unjustifiable increases in the proportion of top degrees being awarded threaten to undermine the value of UK degrees,” Donelan said. “We expect the OfS to challenge registered providers with an excessive proportion of top degrees being awarded.” 4 The OfS said nearly 38% of undergraduates in England were awarded a first in 2020–21, more than double the 16% awarded firsts a decade earlier, and above the 29% awarded before the pandemic. But the OfS’s analysis also looked at “unexplained” firsts, | Photo: Picture Alliance defined as awards that “cannot be statistically accounted for by changes in the characteristics of the graduating cohort” for each university. 5 The Royal Academy of Music was accused of awarding the highest proportion of “unexplained” firsts among the 80% of students awarded firsts last year. Among mainstream universities, Bradford had 41% of its firsts classed as unexplained by the OfS’s statisticians, while Queen Mary University London (QMUL) had 37% unexplained. 6 A spokesperson for QMUL said it was ranked by the Sutton Trust as top in the country for social mobility. “We are proud to open the doors of opportunity to anyone with the potential to succeed at a Russell Group university,” they said. “We are equally proud of our successful worldleading work in reducing the attainment gap between white and BAME students, which has resulted in our degree outcomes becoming a true reflection of our students’ abilities.” 7 Steve West, the vice-chancellor of UWE Bristol and president of the Universities UK group, said the OfS also “rightly” wanted students not to be limited in what grades they could achieve. “We believe the OfS must be careful not to assume that students with lower entry grades, typically from more disadvantaged backgrounds, cannot achieve firstclass degrees,” West said. 8 Ofqual, England’s exam regulator, has also announced that students taking A-levels and GCSEs in the future will benefit from questions that are simpler and avoid references that could confuse and disadvantage candidates. 9 The regulator has been concerned that pupils may be unfairly hampered by a middle-class bias in the language used in questions, such as a 2017 GCSE maths paper that described a theatre where “each person had a seat in the circle or had a seat in the stalls”. Candidates were asked to calculate how many of the 2,600 seats were occupied, but pupils would need to understand that the circle and stalls are in different sections to answer correctly. © 2022 Guardian News and Media Ltd 0 – 1 FIRST-CLASSdegree (BE) Studienabschluss mit Bestnote — to award verleihen — regulator “"regj´leIt´‘ Aufsichtsbehörde — to restore wiederherstellen — award levels Abschlussniveau — to rebuke “rI"bju…k‘ rügen — excessive unverhältnismäßig — to undermine untergraben 2 – 3 Office for Students Aufsichtsbehörde für den engl. Universitätssektor — observable “´b"z‰…v´b´l‘ nachweisbar — prior results “"praI´‘ erbrachte Leistungen — interim chief executive “Æ-Ig"zekj´tIv‘ kommisarische(r) Leiter(in) — unmerited “øn"merItId‘; s.w.u. unjustifiable “ønÆdZøstI"faI´b´l‘ ungerechtfertigt — grade inflation Noteninflation — A-level exams brit. Abiturprüfung — GCSE exams brit. Schulabschlussprüfung ähnlich der Mittleren Reife — provider Bildungsanbieter 4 – 6 undergraduate Bachelor-Student(in) — to account for by begründen mit — graduating cohort Absolventenjahrgang — statistician “ÆstœtI"stIS´n‘ Statistiker(in) — spokesperson Sprecher(in) — to rank einstufen — equally “"i…kw´li‘ gleichermaßen — attainment gap “´"teInm´nt‘ Bildungsabstand — BAME = Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BE) Bezeichnung für nicht-weiße Minderheiten — outcome Ergebnis 7 – 9 vice-chancellor Vizekanzler(in) — entry grades erforderlicher Notendurchschnitt — candidate Prüfling — to hamper s.o. es jdm. schwer machen — bias “"baI´s‘ Vorurteil(e); h.: Einfluss — circle Rang — stalls “stO…lz‘ Parkett Troubles amnesty ditched by ministers POLITICS By Geraldine Scott 1 MINISTERS have abandoned plans to give a total amnesty to veterans of Northern Ireland’s Troubles and paramilitaries, who will now avoid prosecutions only if they help families of those killed and injured to find closure. 2 The government said it wanted to end the “cycle of investigations that has failed both victims and veterans” by only giving immunity to those who co-operate with an independent commission. The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill will set up the commission after a backlash over proposals unveiled last year that would have offered an effective amnesty for Troubles offenders. Members of the group Relatives for Justice protesting the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill in May 2022. | Photo: Picture Alliance 3 The new body will create a historical record and help families find out information about Troubles-related deaths and serious injuries. Prosecutions could still be brought against those thought to have committed offences if they are not deemed to have “earned” their immunity. 4 Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary, said: “The government is confident that forthcoming legislation will better support those most impacted by the Troubles.” 5 But Amnesty International said the plan was a “sinister denial of rights” for families. Grainne Teggart, the charity’s campaigns manager, said the proposals “dismiss victims’ strong objections and are a worrying interference in the rule of law”. She said: “No one is fooled by the UK government’s attempt to dress this up as anything other than a process designed to block victims from ever getting justice.” 6 Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, said that while people in Northern Ireland wanted the truth, they “also want justice”. He added: “We must not allow a situation to develop where people are able to rewrite the narrative which suggests that the terrorists who committed terrible atrocities across the board are somehow either exonerated or can walk away.” He said he would wait to see the full proposals before judging them. 7 More than 3,500 people were killed during the Troubles, including at least 1,000 members of the security forces. More than half the deaths are attributed to republican paramilitaries, 30 per cent are blamed on loyalist paramilitaries, and ten per cent are attributed to the security forces. © The Times, London/News Licensing This article originally appeared in The Times, London. 0 – 1 TROUBLES Nordirlandkonflikt — to ditch (coll); s.w.u. to abandon “´"bœnd´n‘ verwerfen — total vollständig — paramilitaries “Æpœr´"mIl´triz‘ paramilitärische Gruppen — prosecution “ÆprÅsI"kju…S´n‘ strafrechtl. Verfolgung — to find closure “"kl´UZ´‘ ein (traumatisches) Erlebnis verarbeiten 2 – 3 to fail s.o. jdn. im Stich lassen — immunity Straffreiheit — legacy “"leg´si‘ Erbe — reconciliation “Ærek´nÆsIli"eIS´n‘ Versöhnung — bill Gesetzentwurf — backlash Gegenreaktion; Protest — to unveil “øn"veIl‘ vorstellen — effective rechtswirksam — body Gremium — to deem erachten 4 – 5 Northern Ireland secretary Minister(in) für Nordirland — forthcoming h.: in Kürze verabschiedet — legislation “ÆledZI"sleIS´n‘ Gesetze — to impact betreffen — sinister “"sInIst´‘ schwerwiegend — denial “dI"naI´l‘ Verweigerung — to dismiss s. über etw. hinwegsetzen — interference “Æ--"fI´r´ns‘ Eingriff — rule of law Rechtsstaatlichkeit — to dress up etw. verschleiern 6 – 7 to rewrite the narrative “"nœr´tIv‘ die Geschichte umschreiben — atrocity “´"trÅs´ti‘ Gräueltat — across the board (fig) allesamt — to exonerate “Ig"zÅn´reIt‘ entlasten — to walk away (fig) davonkommen — to attribute to s.o. “´"trIbju…t‘ jdm. etw. zuschreiben — republican ein vereintes Irland befürwortend — loyalist “"lOI´lIst‘ die Union Nordirlands mit GB befürwortend

World and Press | August 1 2022 Britain 7 In London, a long-awaited high-speed train is ready to roll PUBLIC TRANSPORT According to managers, the new Elizabeth line is a testament to the power of public transportation. mit Übungen | Sprechen By Mark Landler Andy Byford, commissioner of Transport for London. 1 WHEN Andy Byford ran New York City’s dilapidated subway system, fed-up New Yorkers hailed his crusade to make the trains run with fewer delays and lamented his premature exit after clashes with the governor at the time, Andrew Cuomo. He was a familiar, unfailingly cheerful presence on its often-restive platforms. Straphangers even took to calling him “Train Daddy.” 2 Nobody calls Byford Train Daddy in London, where he resurfaced in May 2020 as the commissioner of the city’s transit authority, Transport for London. But on May 24, when he opens the Elizabeth line – the long-delayed, billion-plus high-capacity railway that uncoils from west and east underneath central London – he might find himself again worthy of a cheeky nickname. 3 “That was fun in New York,” said Byford, 56, a gregarious public transport evangelist who grew up in Plymouth, England, began his career as a tube-station manager in London, and has also run transit systems in Toronto and Sydney, Australia. “But I’m really enjoying almost complete anonymity in London.” 4 The Elizabeth line has been under construction for 13 years, seven years before Britons voted to leave the European Union. It was on the drawing board for decades before that, under the name Crossrail – so long that in the minds of many Londoners, it was never going to be finished. Its empty, brightly lit stations, sealed off behind fire doors, are portals to an unseen world. Byford described them as something out of the film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ but “without HAL, the evil computer,” he said. 5 Byford did not single-handedly turn around the project. Much of the credit goes to new managers, led by Mark Wild, who took over the Elizabeth line when it fell into crisis in 2018 (engineers found 75,000 defects, many in its digital switching system). But Byford secured an additional billion from the government in | Logo: Transport for London Escalators to train platforms at the Elizabeth line’s Liverpool Street station in London. | Photos: Andrew Testa/ The New York Times Inside an Elizabeth line train car. late 2020 to prevent construction from being halted, and he has been running the trains for months without passengers to ensure a glitch-free debut. 6 Showing reporters around last week, Byford and Wild burst with pride about the system, which will open 3.5 years late but just in time for the Platinum Jubilee of its namesake, Queen Elizabeth II. Alighting at Liverpool Street station, Wild said, “That’s a 19 billion pound ride you just experienced.” 7 The Elizabeth line does have, in the words of Tony Travers, an urban-affairs expert at the London School of Economics, a “wow factor.” The stations are vast, cathedral-like spaces, with platforms that seem to stretch to infinity. The trains, roomy and twice the length of regular subways, arrive with scarcely a whisper. 8 Boring the tunnels required excavating three million tons of clay in an extremely complicated subterranean environment. Workers digging the Liverpool Street station came across skeletons in a mass grave that dated to 1569. A team of 100 archaeologists exhumed the remains of 3,300 people from the site in the New Churchyard of Bethlam, and reinterred them in an island in the Thames estuary. 9 “It will be seen as a major engineering achievement,” Travers predicted. “It’s way more ambitious than New York’s Second Avenue subway or the extension of the No. 7 line, which are tiny projects by comparison.” 10 Comparing London’s transit system with New York’s is inevitable, given Byford’s job history. He speaks diplomatically about the difference, chalking much of it up to the bureaucratic structure of Transport for London, which oversees virtually every mode of transportation in the capital. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a more limited purview and is controlled by New York’s governor. 11 The politics are also different. For all of its problems, the Elizabeth line has enjoyed steadfast bipartisan support, including from London’s Labour mayor, Sadiq Khan, and Britain’s Conservative prime minister, Boris Johnson, who was mayor when ground was broken. An enthusiast for Robert Moses-scale public-works projects, Johnson takes credit for securing the project’s early financing, which came from the European Investment Bank. … 12 When the Elizabeth line’s next phase is opened in the fall, passengers will be able to travel from Heathrow to the banks at Canary Wharf in East London in 40 minutes; that is a prime selling point for a city desperate to hold on to its status as a financial mecca after Brexit. All told, the line has ten entirely new stations, 42 miles of tunnels, and crosses under the Thames three times. 13 To be fair, Transport for London is not without its problems. It has shelved plans to build a north-south counterpart to the Elizabeth line, not to mention an extension to the Bakerloo Tube line, because of a lack of funding. Still reeling from a near-total loss of riders during pandemic lockdowns, the system faces many of the same financial woes as New York’s subway. 14 “My other obsession is sorting out the finances,” Byford said. “One way is to wean us away from dependence on fares.” He is somewhat vague about how to do that, and it is clear that Transport for London will depend on additional government handouts to get back on sound financial footing. That is why the opening of the Elizabeth line is so important to London: It makes a powerful case for public transportation at a time when people are questioning how many workers will ever return to their offices. … © 2022 The New York Times Company This article originally appeared in The New York Times. 0 – 1 READY TO ROLLstartbereit — public transport; s.w.u. transit system ÖPNV — to be a testament to “"test´m´nt‘ von etw. zeugen — dilapidated “dI"lœpIdeItId‘ baufällig; heruntergekommen — to hail bejubeln — crusade “kru…"seId‘ Kreuzzug — to lament “-"-‘ beklagen — premature “"prem´tS´‘ vorzeitig — unfailingly stets — often-restive oftmals unruhig — straphanger (AE) Berufspendler(in) 2 – 3 to resurface “Æri…"s‰…fIs‘ wiederauftauchen — commissioner Chef(in) — transit authority “O…"TÅr´ti‘ Verkehrsbehörde — to uncoil “øn"kOIl‘ abwickeln; h.: s. entlangziehen — underneath unter — worthy würdig — gregarious “grI"ge´ri´s‘ gesellig — evangelist “I"vœndZ´lIst‘ begeisterte(r) Verfechter(in) 4 – 5 on the drawing board (fig) in Planung — sealed off hermetisch abgeriegelt — single-handedly im Alleingang — credit Verdienst; s.w.u. to take c. for s. als V. anrechnen — digital switching system digitales Stellwerk — to secure beschaffen — to halt “hÅlt‘ stoppen — to ensure “In"SO…‘ sicherstellen — glitchfree pannenfrei 6 – 7 Platinum Jubilee “"plœtIn´m "dZu…bIli…‘ 70-jähriges Thronjubiläum — namesake Namenspatron(in) — to alight aussteigen — urban-affairs expert Experte(-in) für städtische Angelegenheiten — to infinity “In"fIn´ti‘ unendlich — roomy geräumig — with scarcely a whisper “"ske´sli‘ fast geräuschlos (s. kaum) 8 to bore bohren — to excavate “"eksk´veIt‘ ausbaggern — clay Lehm — subterranean “Æsøbt´r"eIni´n‘ unterirdisch — to date to … auf das Jahr … zurückgehen — to exhume “eks"hju…m‘ exhumieren; ausgraben — remains sterbliche Überreste — to reinter “Æri…In"t‰…‘ umbetten — estuary “"estSu´ri‘ Mündungsgebiet 9 – 10 engineering achievement Ingenieursleistung — extension Erweiterung — by comparison im Vergleich dazu — inevitable “I"nevIt´b´l‘ unvermeidlich — given angesichts — to chalk up to etw. e-r S. zuschreiben — bureaucratic “ÆbjU´r´"krœtIk‘ — virtually “"v‰…tSu´li‘ praktisch — mode of transportation Beförderungsart — purview “"p‰…vju…‘ Zuständigkeitsbereich 11 – 12 steadfast “"sted-‘ unerschütterlich — bipartisan “ÆbaI"pA… tIzœn‘ parteiübergreifend — when ground was broken (fig) beim ersten Spatenstich — public-works project öffentl. Großprojekt — prime selling point Hauptverkaufsargument — to be desperate to do “"despr´t‘ unbedingt tun wollen — all told alles in allem — entirely “In"taI´li‘ völlig 13 – 14 to shelve auf Eis legen — counterpart Pendant — not to mention ganz zu schweigen von — to reel from von etw. erschüttert sein — financial woes finanzielle Probleme — to sort out in Ordnung bringen — to wean away from von etw. entwöhnen; h.: von etw. lösen — vague “veIg‘ vage — government handouts staatl. Unterstützung — sound footing solide Basis — to make a case for für etw. werben

World and Press