Let the students speak!

"Absolutely brilliant." "What a wonderful place." "Such a caring institution." "It's been fabulous." "My kind of campus." "Beyond my wildest dreams."

March 6, 2008

These are just a few of the comments that students of our university could well be making on the new National Student Survey. They were supplied as "useful examples" in a personal letter sent to all our students last week by Jamie Targett, our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs. In his letter, Targett pointed out the importance of Poppleton improving its present position in the student satisfaction league tables and went on to urge all satisfied students to take part in the survey. In his words: "Remember this is a student satisfaction survey so it is not meant for those students who for some minor reason or other might regard their own experience as totally unsatisfactory. They should withhold their views until a Student Dissatisfaction Survey comes along."

Other steps to encourage students to participate in the survey include a 30-minute film to be shown before every lecture in which our vice-chancellor chats informally to a randomly selected group of hired students about their exciting and fulfilling undergraduate experiences and points out the strong correlation between expressing satisfaction with one's course and the prospect of obtaining a good degree or indeed any degree at all.

Speaking to our reporter Keith Ponting (29), Targett stressed the importance of detecting satisfied students and persuading them to respond to the survey. "It can be an arduous and time-consuming task, but they're out there somewhere and it's our job to track them down."


Welcome to a brand new column in which our Director of Personal Development, Jennifer Doubleday, responds to personal questions raised by worried members of staff. We begin with a letter from Doctor A.C.W. of Biology (full name withheld):

Dear Problematic Page,

One day recently when I was walking to the university I noticed a very attractive dog on the other side of the street. It was only about 8 inches tall and had a small head, V-shaped ears and a glossy blue-and-tan coat. I found the experience so stimulating that since that time I have found myself looking out for similarly attractive dogs.

Is there a name for this?

(Jennifer Doubleday writes: From your description, I'd say that it must have been a Yorkshire terrier.)


We were all sad to learn of the recent death of Emeritus Professor of Botany, Professor C.G. Stilling. Funeral next Friday at St Ormerods. (No flowers.)


Stunning ten-room luxurious villa in St Tropez, just a short walk from Pampelonne Beach. Olympic-sized pool, plasma TV in all rooms, 24-hour free concierge and maid and security service. Five sunlit terraces. Two saunas, three Jacuzzis. Full air conditioning. Apply Deputy Finance Officer.


(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Time is not a thing, thus nothing which is, and yet it remains constant in its passing away without being something temporal like beings in time.

(My thanks to Martin H. for forwarding this little gem.)

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