Laurie Taylor – 7 July 2016

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

July 7, 2016
University graduate shopping in supermarket
Source: Alamy
Come to Poppleton, the home of low expectations

Because you’re worth it

Our Deputy Head of Student Experience, Nancy Harbinger, has responded positively to the news that 50,000 recent UK graduates are now working in non-graduate occupations.

“Obviously,” admitted Ms Harbinger, “it will be something of a disappointment for so many thousands of students to discover after three years of hard work and the accumulation of an average debt of £44,000 that they are now in a job that would have been available to them without the expenditure of any of that time or money.”

But she detected a silver lining. “Our own graduates have a distinct advantage in this new occupational world. Unlike students from more academically oriented universities, they will have had any intellectual pretensions fully knocked out of them by the consistently mediocre quality of their studies at Poppleton. What better preparation could they possibly have for a mindless career stacking shelves in Poundland or serving flat whites in Shoreditch?”

Ms Harbinger anticipated that a whole new generation of more realistic students would be attracted by our university’s newly minted slogan, “Poppleton University: Proudly Lowering Expectation for a Decade”.

Publish and be promoted

Any possibility that the publishing demands of the research excellence framework might be responsible for the recent survey finding that almost 20 per cent of researchers routinely fabricate research data has been vigorously denied by Brian Bryan, our Deputy Head of REF Strategy.

Mr Bryan also firmly denied the suggestion that the publishing demands of the REF might have played a significant part in the increased volume of plagiarism in such research or in the salamislicing of findings so as to stretch them over several publications.

Mr Bryan also firmly denied the idea that the demands of the REF were in any way related to the increased tendency of researchers to omit negative results that ran counter to their thesis.

Mr Bryan also firmly denied the idea that the REF could take any blame at all for the ever-growing number of published findings – approximately 40 per cent in some disciplines – that had proved impossible to reproduce.

Mr Bryan also firmly denied that there was any truth whatsoever in the well-established law that any index of quality – whether it be the number of published articles or the numbers of people on a hospital waiting list – sacrificed both its original reliability and validity when it was used as the basis for financial rewards.

Mr Bryan also firmly denied the likelihood that very much the same sort of duplicity and double-dealing and fabrication would soon become the norm in the forthcoming teaching excellence framework.

(We very much regret that the interview had to be terminated at this point as Mr Bryan’s words were drowned out by a chorus of crowing cocks.)

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