Poppleton 1. Oxford 0.
One of our university departments can currently boast a more advanced curriculum than that enjoyed by students at the University of Oxford.
Speaking to our reporter Keith Ponting (30), the head of our Theology Department, Janet Vantiger, explained that while Oxford’s theology faculty board had announced only last week that its undergraduates could now avoid studying Christianity altogether, Poppleton had decided to jettison Christianity and all its Works more than a year ago following student complaints about its lack of relevance to contemporary higher education.
Professor Vantiger said that while some Christian-based options such as “Raising the Dead” and “The Woman Taken in Adultery” continued to attract students, the compulsory Christianity courses had been replaced by more relevant belief systems such as “doctrinal neoliberalism” and “dogmatic marketisation”.
However, she firmly denied rumours that the adoption of these new courses was in any way connected to the recent decision to replace the traditional departmental portrait of God the Father raising his right hand in blessing with a heroic representation of Lord Willetts urging forward a pack of mortar-boarded Gadarene swine.
Got any loose change, guv?
Our Deputy Director of Alumni Relations, Mike Blagg, has welcomed the recent insistence by Wendy Piatt, the head of the Russell Group, that it is unfair for universities to be subject to new rules aimed at cracking down on unethical practices in the charity sector.
Mr Blagg, who admitted to being a long-standing admirer of Dr Piatt’s spirited advocacy on behalf of the beleaguered Russell Group, said that he was particularly impressed by her argument that asking a graduate to contribute to their alma mater was in no way equivalent to the begging letters sent out by charities.
His own department’s dealings with Poppleton graduates were limited largely to polite letters that began by enquiring as to the past student’s health and well-being before inviting contributions to such worthy alma mater causes as the development of the new TEF Administration Block.
He did not believe that the sensitive relationship-building style of this letter was in any way vitiated by the operational decision to include a single live bullet in the accompanying envelope.
I am the word
Our Director of Creative Finance, Mr D. C. F. Tapstock, has warmly welcomed the University of Birmingham’s ambitious new finance and payroll programme.
Mr Tapstock told The Poppletonian that while some traditional universities allowed differences of opinion about the best way to manage such functions, no such uncertainty characterised the Birmingham approach. In its latest advertisement for a post in the new financial regime, it unequivocally declares: “This is a massive change management programme that will substantially change the way the University operates. It will promote a single view of the truth.”
But, in Mr Tapstock’s view, even more commendable is the function of this “single view of the truth”. In the further words of the job description, it will: “enable a significant level of process standardisation and harmonisation leading to a reduced level of customisation bringing with it increased simplification”.
It was admirably clear from all this, said Mr Tapstock, that the University of Birmingham had fully bought into the new higher education managerial commitment to incomprehensible absolutism.