Poppleton merger collapses

August 1, 2003

A plan to create the UK's first "Dancing University" by merging the University of Poppleton with the town's celebrated Gwen Holland School of Dance fell apart this week after months of negotiation.

The collapse appears to have been caused by the failure to resolve a number of "status issues". Mrs Holland told our reporter that she was dissatisfied with the idea that the institution would be known as The University of Poppleton (Dancing).

"My academy has trained generations of local folk in modern and traditional ballroom dancing, as well in such specialist disciplines as Latin, merengue, and advanced tap. And what do I get for all that? One word in brackets."

An inside source confirmed that Mrs Holland's own suggestion, Gwen's University of Poppleton, had been unanimously rejected by the university representatives on the merger committee.

Questions were also raised about academic standards. It was accepted by the committee that the diplomas issued by the Gwen Holland School of Dance were validated by an external assessor (Mr Frank Turvey of the North Poppleton School of Performing Arts) but a university report on "academic comparability" found the school's popular limbo option to be "low-level" and raised concerns about the continuing viability of the over-70s mambo class.

The collapse of the talks is a personal blow to the bursar at Poppleton University, who is well known for combining his talent for amateur dramatics with membership of the popular local formation dancing team, the Wild Rovers.

Indeed, it was the photograph in the News of the bursar and Mrs Holland tangoing together at the Poppleton Players New Year Ball that first fuelled rumours of a possible merger.

Suggestions that this collapse might raise questions about the likely success of ongoing merger talks between the University of Poppleton and Mount Street Primary School were emphatically denied by a university spokesperson.

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