Laurie Taylor column

November 15, 2002

So, all in all, Julie, I think we can safely describe your work as fairly satisfactory.

Your tutors do say that you lack a certain analytical edge but if you maintain your present standard, you should be capable of a borderline upper.

Now, are there any other problems?

I do have a slight intellectual problem.

Please.

Well, you know that we have to pay 5p for each copy that we make on the office machine and an extra 2p a copy for stapling.

Indeed.

And that we had to pay £4 for every one of the 12 films that we saw on the second-year media studies course.

That's right.

And that we were also required to spend £20 each for the collected lecture notes on the semiology option.

If you say so.

And you also know that we had to pay £25 each for copies of videocassettes of Coronation Street for the Narrative in Soap Opera option and that we're now required to pay £30 a term to park our bikes in the campus shed and that we'll have to pay £15 to have our degree certificate printed on stiff board rather than duplicating paper.

It's a very good-quality board.

And you know that we're all being asked to cough up £10 as a contribution to the glass of wine and Twiglets that will be served at this year's student Christmas party.

Julie, this is all very interesting. But what exactly is your point?

Well, I was merely wondering why the vice-chancellor in his special address to students last Thursday chose to describe top-up fees as an innovation.

Julie, do try not to be quite so analytical. It doesn't suit you.

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