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Oxbridge can make way for younger, diverse professors - but it comes at a cost for some

PICTURED: St John's College, Oxford

OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE univeristies can force old professorts to retire in order to improve diversity, a tribunal has ruled.

The ruling follows after Professor John Pitcher, a leading Shakespear scholar and fellow at St John’s College at Oxford, claimed that he was unfairly pushed out of his job at the age of 67 to make way for younger and more ethnicially diverse academics, The Telegraph reports.

He suided the college and universiuty for age discrimination and unfair dismasll, but Judge Bedeau dismissed both claims.

Prof Pitcher had worked at the college for oever three decades and now at the age of 70, he claimed that he was “forcibly retired” as aresult of the universities Employer Justified Rertirement Age (EJRA) policy.

Prof Pitcher argued that it was “degrading and humilating” to have to re=apply for his jobs after “decades of imnpeccable service.”

However, as teh default retirement age of 65 was axed by teh Government in 2011, an employer can set its own copmpluasry retirement age. Oxford says their retirement age for senior academics is at 68 and is to assist in promotiong “intergenerational fiarness and improvements on in diversity.”

Of the case, Judge Bedeau said that it “exemplifies” the “much vexed question” of how emoployers can promote diversity and advancements for underrepresented grups in teh workforce while “balancing the needs and interests of those in senior positions who desire to remain employed”.

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