Jules Verne
A combination picture of writer Jules Verne both young and old, whose novel Around the World in 80 Days was going to be the theme of a Cambridge University college's party before it was cancelled Getty

Students from a Cambridge University college have cancelled a party themed on the Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days because wearing costumes in the style of another culture may cause offence.

The junior parlour committee of Pembroke College wrote to students that it could be construed as "cultural appropriation" if students wore clothes of a culture they did not belong to.

In an email it said: "Instead we are using an alternative theme to avoid the potential for offense [sic] to be caused by the theme Around the World in 80 Days."

They said that they would break with tradition of reusing the theme of the finalists' first fresher BOP (university party).

However speaking to student news website The Tab, Shani Wijetilaka said that some members of the college were angry with the decision and that those in favour of the original party theme had claimed that deliberately changing the theme implied "the student body isn't capable of dressing appropriately by itself".

It is the latest row on a British university campus about cultural sensitivities.

This week, Cambridge's Jesus College agreed to remove a bronze cockerel following complaints of its links to Britain's colonial past. The Okukor sculpture in the dining hall came from Nigeria during a 19th century naval expedition.

Also, there has been an ongoing campaign by Oxford University students for the removal of the statue of the colonialist Cecil Rhodes, which has stood in front of the Oriel building since 1911.

Meanwhile in February, Fran Cowling, the LGBT representative for the National Union of Students refused to take part in a discussion at Canterbury's Christ Church University.

She did not want to share a stage with LGBT campaigner Peter Tatchell because he had signed a letter in the Observer supporting free speech in response to university student unions "no-platforming" speakers who had problematic views.