Gone but not forgotten

October 28, 2010

We are pleased to announce that all members of academic staff have been invited to attend the funeral service for the Quality Assurance Agency, which will be held shortly in a centrally located telephone box.

Those who intend to travel to the ceremony will be required to complete an extensive range of forms indicating their competence in such aspects of the funereal process as kneeling and standing at appropriate moments, familiarity with funeral hymns, capacity for displaying grief and an overall ability to maintain a mournful face.

Prospective celebrants should, however, note that in common with traditional QAA practice, no concrete evidence of competence in any of these areas will be required.

Ding dong don

"Knock, knock!"

"Who's there?"


"Don who?"

"Don who can help you obtain a Poppleton degree!"

This could be the future of higher education in Poppleton following the news that our university will be validating degrees provided by Tesco Home Deliveries.

Announcing the development, Kirk Swavely, our Senior Manager of External Relations, said that the move had been influenced by the news that a comprehensive school in Norfolk would shortly be offering local residents University of London degrees. Jonathan Kydd, dean of London International Programmes, described this as a welcome way of introducing people to the "higher education on their doorstep".

Swavely told The Poppletonian that Tesco had a long and successful history of delivering a wide range of groceries. The addition of reading lists and essay topics would be no more than a logical development of its present mission.

He confirmed that the new Tesco home delivery degrees would currently be confined to the undergraduate level, but admitted that he was already in "preliminary talks" with Waitrose about the possibility of doctoral home deliveries.

Philistine? Moi?

"Bugger Jane Austen." That was the unexpectedly vigorous response of Janet Fluellen, our Director of Curriculum Development, to the concerns recently expressed by members of our Arts and Humanities Faculty about the uncertain future of their disciplines within the university.

Although Ms Fluellen was happy to admit that she herself had "always enjoyed a jolly good book", she did not for a moment accept that reading lots of them for three years was an essential element within a modern-facing, instrumentally attuned, employer-focused, user-based, post-Browne university going forward.

She also "deeply resented" the suggestion that her attitude towards the humanities was evidence of "artistic philistinism".

"In fact," she told our reporter Keith Ponting (30), "I like nothing better than a nice Impressionist picture. But let's face it, in the new academic climate it's rather more important to know the value of money than to be able to distinguish between Monet and Manet."

Pressed by Ponting about the future of liberal arts at Poppleton, Ms Fluellen admitted to mounting irritation. "Quite frankly," she said, "it has now got to such a stage that whenever I hear the word 'humanities' I reach for a redundancy package."

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

I very much regret that for reasons of space, next week's soft skills seminar on Developing a Sense of Humour is confined to Englishmen, Irishmen and Scotsmen.


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