A UNIVERSITY is due to host a public debate over a controversial statue of Cecil Rhodes.

The University of Brighton is to host an online public talk on the statue of the 19th century politician, following calls to have it removed.

The former Oxford University left £100,000 - about £12.5 million in today's money - to the Oriel College through his will in 1902.

The college say the statue represents white supremacy and is steeped in colonialism and racism.

However, Oxford University say it will not seek to move it due to "regulatory and financial challenges".

The chair of the event, Dr Nichola Khan said: “This important talk discusses not only of the legacy of Rhodes and colonialism in Southern Africa and Zimbabwe, but of wider public opinion and interest in the harms and contested legacies of race and empire more broadly.

Calls to remove it were were reignited after a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was torn down in Bristol.

The debate in Brighton will include discussions exploring the historical evidence and arguments for moving the statue

The talk is due to be held at the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics (CSECP) on November 12.

It will include Oxford University professor William Beinart and broadcaster Zeinab Badawi, who was recently elected president of London's School of African and Oriental Studies.

During the discussion, Ms Badawi will discuss her experience of the Oriel College commission, as well as wider initiatives to promote diversity and African Studies.

The event will be chaired by CSECP director Dr Khan and colleague Dr Heba Youssef.

Dr Khan added: “In recent years, many public institutions have responded to political pressures to reflect on Britain’s and other countries’ imperial pasts, and on elements of colonialism that continue in knowledge production within politics, medicine, law, economics, human rights and international development.

“Institutions such as the National Trust, museums and universities have made efforts to recognise these legacies - for example, this month will see the return of a looted royal ancestral Benin bronzes to Nigeria.

“We have also seen other high-profile campaigns to remove statues of arch colonialists, such as the toppling of the slave trader Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol in 2020.

“We are immensely fortunate to have the insights of broadcaster Zeinab Badawi and Professor William Beinart.”

The controversial politician gave his name to Rhodesia before its post-colonial renaming as Zimbabwe.

His statue was erected in 1911 on the facade of a new Oriel College building.

Despite the Rhodes Must Fall protests in 2015, 2016 and 2020, the statue still remains.

The public debate will take place between 2pm and 4pm on November 12.

Spaces are available to book free through TicketSource.