Hubble bubble

May 12, 2011

In a recently issued five-star, top-priority email, our Director of Curriculum Development, Janet Fluellen, has addressed what she describes as the "urgent issue of hubs".

She points out that Poppleton currently boasts a Media Hub, a Transferable Skills Hub, a Sports Hub, a Medieval English Hub, a Logical Positivism Hub and a Refreshment Hub.

Although these present hubs may serve a useful function "going forward", Ms Fluellen suggests that there is now a serious danger of "hub proliferation", which could well lead to "hub overlap" and even "hub collision".

When asked by our reporter Keith Ponting (30) if this warning amounted to a "hub cap", Ms Fluellen said that she was merely acting "as a spokesperson" for those who were concerned about the current escalation and declared that she certainly had rather more important things to do than to comment on silly puns.

Send in the dons

"It's an idea whose time has come." That was the response of our Director of Creative Finance, Mr D.C.F. Tapstock, to reports that the University of Reading is looking to hand over the running of its campus accommodation to a private company in a £200 million deal.

In welcoming the Reading initiative, Mr Tapstock was quick to point out that Poppleton had been a "veritable pioneer" in this field and could already boast of having outsourced such previous "in-house functions" as catering, security, estate management, second-year undergraduate teaching and responding to parental complaints.

This policy would be "further extended and enhanced" by the university's recent decision to outsource all its future graduation-day convocations to Cirque du Soleil.

He believed that this move would add some valuable pizzazz to the customary proceedings, but insisted that Cirque's new role would not interfere with the university's traditional policy of staffing the platform party with home-grown clowns.

Parlez-vous Poppleton?

Our seriously overpaid Director of Overseas Recruitment, Jeff Boarding, has announced "significant changes" in the test of English ability that is currently used to determine the university's international graduate admissions policy.

Mr Boarding said that his decision had been influenced by the news that a significant proportion of international students at the University of Derby had failed to complete their doctoral theses because of an inadequate level of written English.

He explained that, at the moment, international students who applied for graduate places at Poppleton were stringently tested by being asked to choose between "Yes" and "No" in answer to a question: "Are you sure you have enough money to pay for the course?"

However, in light of the Derby experience, he was now proposing to "extend the written component of this test" by the addition of more open-ended material.

From now on, prospective students who answered "Yes" to the original question would then be asked to write out a list of their financial assets.

He hoped, however, that this "increase in rigour" would always be interpreted in accord with the university's traditional policy of Open Cheque - Open House.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Next week's seminar on Stress Management will concentrate on yogic techniques for inhalation and exhalation. Priority will be given to those academic applicants who have already stopped breathing.

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk.

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