By Kylie Noble
Vice Chancellor Patrick Johnston has garnered controversy for his decision to cancel an academic symposium: Understanding Charlie: New perspectives on contemporary citizenship after Charlie Hebdo.
Mr Johnston emailed all delegates that the event was being called off, citing concerns around security risks and the reputation of the University.
The event was due to occur in June.
However, The Gown can reveal that the School of Law is hosting an event on similar themes surrounding the Charlie Hebdo murders and freedom of expression.
Students in the School of Law are invited to a talk by Rt Hon Lord Justice Girvan, judge of the Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland, on 30th April 2015 entitled: “Charles, Charniers and Charlie.”
Mr Girvan’s talk will address issues of free speech and freedom of religion. It is being hosted by the Franco-British Lawyers Society.
Twelve people died on 7th January 2015 when two brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, fired on the journalists on 7 January at the satirical magazine’s offices in Paris.
Charlie Hebdo is a controversial publication often depicting critical cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
There is speculation that the VC’s decision links to economic factors.
On 27th January QUB announced a partnership with Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), to develop the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBR-UMHS) and its College of Medicine.
The College of Medicine is expected to open for applications in the autumn, with the first cohort of medical students to be welcomed in September 2016.
In a press release issued by QUB School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Mr Johnston said: “I am both delighted and excited about today’s announcement, in which Queen’s will partner Dubai Healthcare City to develop the new University of Medicine and Health Sciences, including the College of Medicine. We see this as part of a long-term partnership and collaboration in education and research, with mutually beneficial outcomes for both partners.
“It is an extremely important project, where our longstanding experience in this field will make a major contribution, as an international partner, to deliver a project that addresses the healthcare education, training and research needs of Dubai and other regional communities.”
We will have more on this story as it develops.