Education, News, Politics & Society

Academics who helped discover Richard III burial set to be axed

Written by Emily Herbert

The English Literature and Language experts who worked on the study of Richard III are set to be axed, along with the study of all Old and (most of) Middle English.

The literary medievalist researchers produced a MOOC for the university, where over 84,000 people have signed up, from which the university will continue to benefit financially.

Leicester UCU tweeted in response to the University promoting the to-be redundant staff’s work:

“For the record, management is sacking ALL of the Middle English language and literature experts who worked on the Richard III project!”

Ruth Carter, a professor at Leicester University, added: “Academics are now disposable elements of the University research and education business. Use and discard. Next!”

King Richard III was laid to rest in Leicester Cathedral where his bones were uncovered in 2012 with the assistance of researchers from the University of Leicester and reburied in 2015.

Naomi Burnley, an alumni student who benefited from the teaching of the staff at risk of redundancy, stated:

“I believe I speak for many past students when I say that this post is at best misjudged and at worst an insult to the staff who have been/continue to be mistreated and undervalued.

“Their dedication to our education was what made our university experience brilliant.”

Deirdre O’Sullivan, the former vice-chair at Leicester UCU, outlined her opinion on staff at risk of redundancy:

“I have seen truly award-winning rudeness addressed at external scholars at international standing daring to challenge our leaders’ ideas of excellence.

“I have also seen intimidation of so crass nature that it has made international news. And I have witnessed well-respected colleagues simply break with pain and others just walk away from their careers in which they may have invested decades of their lives.

The University of Leicester were contacted to provide a statement but have not responded.


Emily Herbert is a first-year student of Journalism at the University of Leicester, with further aspirations of pursuing a career in TV