Newsbeat

University of South Wales sorry over health and safety course

Doughnuts cooking in oil Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption It's claimed a lecturer gave the wrong advice over the temperature to which oil can be safely heated

A university has apologised to students after a review found teaching on a health and safety course fell "short of the standards" expected.

The University of South Wales says it has also offered compensation to students affected by the teaching.

An inquiry found a lecturer gave "seriously incorrect" advice on cooking oil, electrical safety and falling from a height, according to the Times.

The university says it's "done everything possible to put it right".

An investigation found a lecturer got "very basic scientific information" wrong - for example he claimed that bleach was an acid when it's an alkaline, says the Times.

He also said that "voltage" was named after Voltaire, the French philosopher - when it's in fact named after the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The volt is named after Alessandro Volta (right) - not the French philosopher Voltaire (left)

The inquiry found the lecturer, who was teaching safety and business risk modules, suggested that oil could be heated to 360C - when it can actually catch fire at 250C.

It's claimed he also told students that the "most important thing" they had to do in the workplace was to "keep your job and not be prosecuted".

The investigation found a "clear pattern of inaccuracy, inconsistency and error" in teaching on issues such as the safety of fire doors and barbecueing inside, says the Times.

In a statement to Radio 1 Newsbeat, the university said it was "concerned" the delivery of the course "fell short of the standards we all expect".

"We take this very seriously. The individual lecturer concerned no longer works for the University of South Wales.

"We carried out a full inquiry. Where things had gone wrong, we've put that right."

Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption The university has offered compensation to students affected

The students affected were studying for a masters degree in safety, health and environmental management.

The university said it offered students the chance to repeat or substitute the affected modules at no cost - so their qualification wasn't affected.

It also offered compensation - thought to be around £2,000 - to students because of the inconvenience.

A university spokesman said a review of the course was carried out and seven recommendations have been made to stop it from happening again.

He added: "Finally, we've also said sorry, with a formal apology to the students who were affected.

"There is no evidence or suggestion that any harm has been caused in the health and safety sense by shortcomings in the way the lectures were delivered.

"But it shouldn't have happened in the first place, and we've done everything possible to put it right."

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