Laurie Taylor – 24 March 2016

The official weekly newsletter of the University of Poppleton. Finem respice!

March 24, 2016
Man flexing muscles with shadow on wall
Source: Alamy
Muscling in on the action

Small is beautiful

“Yet another example of higher education elitism.”

That was how Dr Chancer, the Principal of the Lower Poppleton College of Gym Studies, reacted to the recent assertion by Alison Wolf, professor of public sector management at King’s College London, that impending government legislation to make it easier to set up “really small” private for-profit universities could lead to an “American-style catastrophe”.

“Nobody”, said Dr Chancer, “would dream of suggesting that a fish and chip shop should have a requisite number of customers before opening its doors. So why should my HE college with more than 47 students enrolled on Intermediate Zumba, Basic Pilates and Advanced Body Pump have to pass a numbers test and submit to regulations before I can have access to all those buckets of student loan cash?”

Dr Chancer was, however, gratified to learn that the number of students studying at alternative providers had grown from 6,000 in 2010-11 to about 60,000 in 2015 but now wanted to be part of that growth, to see his college become the Lower Poppleton University of Gym Studies, one of the new Willetts Universities where you have only to will it and – hey presto – it’s a university!

Alan Badel and Claire Bloom as Romeo and Juliet, 1952
Parting is such sweet sorrow

And another thing

In a recent article in The Poppletonian about the important role of speech and drama in the higher education sector, reference was made to the high status enjoyed in this respect by Central School of Speech & Drama.

However, following the publication of that piece, we were made aware by Central School of Speech & Drama that the school had received a royal charter in 2012 and should therefore have been referred to as Royal Central School of Speech & Drama.

However, following the publication of our apology for this mistake, our attention was drawn to an internal communication from Ross Brown, dean at the Central School, which named a further mistake in our apology. “Please note”, wrote Professor Brown, “that the ‘The’ is part of the name of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.”

However, we now learn that our subsequent renaming of the school as The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama contravened a further insistence by Professor Brown that on no occasions should the title of the school include an ampersand. In his words, “The long title of the School should be exactly as written, no ampersand. The use of the ampersand in the logo is for graphic design reasons.”

However, Professor Brown was only too anxious to point out that his remarks were not indicative of any generalised illiberal hostility towards the ampersand per se:

“You are of course free to use ampersands elsewhere if that is necessary in terms of character limitation or if you choose to. There is no general institutional ban on ampersands or any other character or punctuation mark.”

NB Forthcoming productions from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama include the following:


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