Laurie Taylor Column

January 3, 2003

At this time of year, The THES traditionally invites a number of key individuals and organisations in higher education to send their personal new year greetings.

From UUK (Universities UK)
Happy new year to all academic staff.

The next 12 months will undoubtedly bring fresh challenges. But, as in the past, all of us at UUK will be working tirelessly to protect the interests of higher education by vigorously pursuing our tried-and-trusted policy of Divide and Fail to Make any Impact Whatsoever.

From the Department for Education and Skills
Ms Margaret Hodge and Mr Charles Clarke have separately considered your request for a new year greeting but after much deliberation were unable to agree on the content of any such message or indeed on the content of any future message relating to higher education.

From Sir Howard Davies
Happy new year to all my new academic colleagues.

It was, of course, a disappointment to learn that I was not to become the next governor of the Bank of England (Ladbrokes had me as the favourite), but there was some compensation in the news that I was to become director of the London School of Economics.

After all, what more logical career move could there be for someone with absolutely no experience of higher education? (By the way, where exactly is LSE?)

From the administrative secretary of the Russell Group
Thank you for asking the Russell Group to extend a new year message to the entire academic community. I regret that we are unable to comply. Members of the Russell Group will speak only to each other.

From Orotund, Guff and Hipe (management consultants to higher education)
A happy and constructively managed 2003 to all our clients in academia.

Why not make a positive start by replacing that traditional set of New Year resolutions with a costed portfolio of goal-oriented strategic objectives going forward? (Brochure available on request.)

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