Pile ’em high

October 30, 2014

Source: Getty

“It’s nothing more than a medium-sized temporary blip.”

That was how Nathan Prest, our Head of Student Recruitment, responded to allegations that our university’s new “Super Greed” policy of recruiting as many students as possible this year had left a considerable number of first-year undergraduates without proper accommodation.

Mr Prest pointed out that Poppleton was far from being alone in facing this problem. Similar lack of student accommodation had been reported by the universities of Bristol, Aberdeen and Essex.

“All these universities”, said Mr Prest, “have had to use considerable ingenuity in order to remedy their accommodation shortfall.” He reserved particular praise for the University of Essex, which had found extra room by “selflessly” freeing up the spaces previously occupied by Marina Warner, Glyn Maxwell and Derek Walcott.


Get me out of here

Person ducking under chain and padlock on gate

Hot on the heels of research by massive open online course platform FutureLearn that shows that nearly a third of university graduates wish they had studied a different subject at university comes evidence of a rather similar form of dissatisfaction among Poppleton academics. A new campus survey provides the following detail:

  • One-third of all Poppleton academics would like to be in an entirely different department
  • One-third of all Poppleton academics would like to be in an entirely different university
  • One-third of all Poppleton academics would like to be in an entirely different space-time dimension.

However, Jamie Targett, our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, insisted that “wanting to be somewhere else” was not necessarily a negative sentiment. It suggested “an openness to change”, a characteristic regarded by human resources professionals as a “necessary staging post on the road to involuntary redundancy”.


Looks very like a first

According to preliminary results from the 2015 Times Higher Education Best University Workplace Survey, almost one-third of academics say that their university has compromised on quality in a bid to increase or preserve student numbers.

But this apparently shocking news does not at all disconcert Janet Fluellen, Poppleton’s Director of Curriculum Development.

Speaking to our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), Ms Fluellen explained that as nearly all academics now recognised that they were required to “add a few extra marks here and there”, everyone was on what she chose to describe as a “level playing field”.

But surely, suggested Ponting, such a practice, however widespread, still constituted a violation of fundamental academic standards?

Not so, insisted Ms Fluellen. Such fundamental standards are not being violated. They are simply being “rounded up”.


Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Recent analysis suggests that sociologists might have become too specialist and narrow-minded. Could this be true? Find out for yourself at this week’s seminar where the main speaker will be Dr Kirk Strutter of our own Department of Sociology. He calls his talk “Reconsidering Durkheim’s analysis of suicide rates in Lower Bavaria between 1894 and 1896”. Everybody welcome.


Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

Please login or register to read this article

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments