Laurie Taylor column

December 6, 2002

'New university for Poppleton shock' - Poppleton Evening Press

A well-known local company yesterday announced plans to establish a third university in Poppleton.

In a shock statement to the press, the management of Poppleton Pork Butchers plc declared: "Following the government shake-up that now allows private businesses to award their own degrees, we are pleased to announce that degree-awarding status has been granted to our in-house training scheme. This will now be formally retitled The University of Poppleton (Pork)."

The newly appointed vice-chancellor, Mr Ken Makepeace, who was previously senior lecturer at the University of United Biscuits, stressed that this development was good news for all those who wished to see a bright future for the pig industry in the UK.

He went on to say: "Although I have spent most of my life in biscuits, I believe that the management skills that I brought to bear in recent years on exciting developments, such as free-range jammy dodgers and organic chocolate digestives, will stand me in good stead in the developing academic world of bacon, sausage, black pudding and fried tomatoes."

Warming to his theme, the vice-chancellor denounced all those traditionalists who regarded the development of private business universities as representing a move away from the intellectual concerns of existing institutions of higher education.

He explained that although there would be three compulsory Pork courses in the standard BA in pig studies, there would be ample opportunity for students to develop wider intellectual interests by selecting from the large range of optional courses: chitterlings and social change; solutions in gammon research; making sense of trotters; pork scratchings: an introduction; differential bacon slicing, and whither brawn?

The vice-chancellor of the long-established University of Poppleton told our reporter that, in his opinion, there was no academic need for a new university of pork in the town. "We already have three prize boars on our management committee. And that's quite enough pigs for any campus," he elucidated.

( See editorial comment, page 94 )

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