At least two University of South Wales lecturers have refused to provide references to graduates who have sought to get on in academic and professional life.
One of them, Doctor Mike Reddy, complained of having a reference request from a student who graduated in only 2002 and claimed a colleague complained of one from someone who graduated in 1994. Another lecturer, Professor Guoping Liu, refused to provide a student who graduated from the faculty he was in, simply because he did not know the student personally.
Doctor Mike Reddy, who is a senior lecturer at the University of South Wales, posted to Twitter his discontent with giving references to students who studied modules on a degree he delivered in 2002. “How old have you had reference requests?“, he asked. “Today I had a student from 2002,” Doctor Mike Reddy continued. “My office mate had one from 1994 the other day. Neither ok,” he concluded.
Councillor Jonathan Bishop is a prospective candidate in this year’s Welsh Assembly elections, where he plans to raise awareness of his policies on education reform. “It is disgusting that Doctor Mike Reddy is refusing to provide references to students who studied on programmes he designed or delivered,” he said. “I had a similar problem with Professor Guoping Liu who wouldn’t sign my nomination form for the IEEE because he said he didn’t know me, meaning it took me longer to get SMIEEE” he continued. “Both Doctor Mike Reddy and Professor Guoping Liu, and any other lecturer funded by the Welsh tax payer, are a total disgrace if they are not willing to do all they can to help the university’s students and graduates get on in the world.
“It will be part of my election campaign for the Welsh Assembly to require universities to provide value for money.
“How is it value for money for Doctor Mike Reddy to have outputted less than 10 academic papers since he got his PhD in 1999?
“And equally, if Professor Guoping Liu is not willing to help Welsh graduates reach as high a status in an international body like the IEEE at the same time as being paid by the Welsh tax payer, then he should go back to China where he will likely be welcomed by other human rights deniers.”
Councillor Jonathan Bishop says that Doctor Mike Reddy is being unfair to his former students. “My last degree was awarded in 2011 by Aberystwyth University, and they have given me references since then as many universities require a reference from the institution where your last degree was awarded and so if the last degree someone got that they were taught by Mike Reddy was 2002 – when I was awarded my first degree – then he should provide references until that person is awarded another degree.
“It is disgusting that universities talk about ‘commencement’ at graduation ceremonies, yet in the case of Doctor Mike Reddy and Professor Guoping Liu, they have no intention of aiding with that.“