Imperial College Union was informed this morning of the auctioning of an internship in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering.
UPDATE: As of 15:05, the internship is no longer available on the Westminster auction site. We believe it has been withdrawn and will confirm this with College as soon as we can.
The Sabbaticals concerned condemn this, in the strongest terms, and in the absence of a Union Council resolution are working to have the auction removed.
It is our fundamental belief that access to education should be based on merit, not ability to pay; and that efforts to widen access to an Imperial education to students from disadvantaged backgrounds are a central part of the College’s academic mission. As the auction page says, this opportunity will give “a fascinating insight into the field of biomedical engineering and would be a wonderful addition to the CV of any budding student”. For a publicly-funded body to restrict this transformational opportunity only to the wealthy is a betrayal of our academic principles and the work to widen access to which so many staff and students have given their time.
We will ensure that this auction is withdrawn entirely and that College take steps to prevent similar incidents happening again. We have contacted senior management and College communications staff and discussions are underway.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Paul Beaumont, Union President, at firstname.lastname@example.org.