A premier notion

April 24, 2014

Georgina Edsel, Poppleton University’s deputy head of brand management (“New name for ‘Bottom Russellers’ ”, The Poppletonian, 17 April) is definitely thinking along the right lines in proposing a new name of “Premier Inn Group” for the low-ranking members of the Russell Group of universities. But I would go a bit further.

First, it is not the “Russell Hotel Group” of universities but the “Russell Group”. Therefore, to be consistent, surely the new group should be the “Premier Group” and not the “Premier Inn Group”. And this sounds much better. After all, nothing can be higher than “premier”.

And second, it will not be long anyway before our heavily stratified system of post-school education divides into three categories, and “further”, “higher” and “premier” are the obvious categories. As with football teams and aircraft seats, “premier” would clearly be “tops” in education.

So all that remains is for the Premier Group of universities to decide what fee to charge when the so-called “Top Russellers” come grovelling for membership of the new elite.

John Brennan
Emeritus professor
The Open University

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