Friday, June 19, 2009

Racial Discrimination Case Cover Up

Today's NZ Herald is reporting that Linda Tang, the Chinese nursing student who was allegedly forced out of the final year of her Unitec degree course because her tutors had issues with her accent, has been offered money in exchange for her silence.

According to Lincon Tan's article:

"The Faculty of social health sciences executive dean Wendy Horne has written to Linda Tang offering $4616 - equivalent to a year's study fees - on condition that the matter "remain confidential between us and our respective legal advisers.

Ms Tang, 42, is planning to take her case to the Human Rights Review Tribunal after a Human Rights Commission meeting failed to resolve matters with Unitec. She says the offer was disgusting and unfair, because what she really wanted was an apology from her tutor.

"This is basically trying to buy my silence with money," Ms Tang said.

"Unitec has blamed me for destroying their reputation, but I think it is really being destroyed by its tutors."

Fair comment. The adverse publicity her case has generated could have serious implications for all education providers if billions of dollars of foreign student revenue dries up - who's going to risk the expense of studying in New Zealand if they're told at the end of their course that their accent is a problem and they fail to graduate as a result?

If there is a problem with the tutors attitudes surely it would be better for Unitec to address that rather than just try to sweep it under the carpet and hope it will go away? $4616 isn't going to change anything.

An apology should be made to MS Tang and Unitec needs to set its house in order or history will keep repeating itself. New Zealand is a multi-racial society surely it can cope with a few differences in pronunciation?

New Zealand also needs nurses, no wonder the maternity services provision is in such dire straits.

For background please see: Student nurse Linda Tang alleges racial discrimination

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