Laurie Taylor's column

November 16, 2001

"Universities should stop criticising each other if they want to attract students" - results of a survey into students' views on the value of informal visits to universities - THES November 9

Well, that concludes the departmental tour. Obviously, it wasn't possible to pack everything into a single hour but I hope you saw enough to make you realise what an exciting time you'd have on our cultural and media studies course. But, now, time for any specific questions you might have about that course. Just as a matter of interest, are any of you currently considering other universities? Yes, the young woman with the Stop the War T-shirt?

I wondered what you thought of the cultural studies course at the City University of Poppleton.

The polytechnic?

I thought it was now a university.

Nominally. But it manages to retain many of the distinctive attributes of its former status. So, if you want somewhere with an inadequate library, seriously deteriorating buildings and an academic staff who are more used to teaching day-release hairdressers than undergraduates, then City University would be ideal. Yes, the young man in the middle with the coloured eyebrows?

Somebody told me that Uttoxeter University had an excellent media studies course.

Did they? Did they indeed. Well, let me be as honest as possible. If you went to Uttoxeter you'd certainly find an experienced staff. Very experienced. In fact there's hardly anyone there under the age of 60. But on the plus side, that does at least mean that you'd be taught by people who saw Citizen Kane and Battleship Potemkin when they were on general release. Now, any other questions? Anything about the course here at Poppleton? Yes, the woman at the front with the nose rings?

I was looking at the first-year outline. There seems to be a two-term course on cultural objectivity. Is that a compulsory component?

Not at all. You need have no worries on that front. Objectivity here at Poppleton is strictly optional.

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