Reach out and touch

September 19, 2013

Source: Alamy

‘Hello, Manchester!’

Our Head of Outreach Programmes, Mr Ned Kelly, has praised Manchester Metropolitan University for its “groundbreaking” efforts to reach out to the local community.

Mr Kelly said he was particularly pleased to learn that the university’s Humanities in Public (Hip) programme would be aimed at Neets (those not in education, employment or training) in the hope that they “may then become interested in higher education”.

In a final burst of appreciation, Mr Kelly commended the “outreach themes” that have been selected by Manchester Met academics for the Hip programme. These include “contemporary Gothic”, “body images” and “21st‑century feminism”.

“It would”, said Mr Kelly, “be difficult to imagine a set of topics with more obvious appeal to an average Neet.”


Staff announcement

From Jamie Targett
Director, Corporate Affairs

At this point in the university year, a considerable amount of valuable paid time is traditionally devoted by academics to the recitation of holiday experiences. In order to reduce this drain upon resources, it has been decided to timetable a distinct slot for such reminiscing.

Please therefore note that “Holiday experience time” is scheduled for 10.15am to 11.15am this Thursday morning. In order to ensure that the period is used most profitably, all members of academic staff are asked to select the “reminiscence group” most compatible with their own vacation experience.

Choose from the following:

  1. “We must have had some bad moules/huîtres on the first night because it was all downhill from there”
  2. “Have you actually been to Lincolnshire? Not the usual touristy bits but the real off-the-beaten-path Lincolnshire?”
  3. “It’s quite easy going really, once you get used to the fact that there’s 50km of uphill cycling before you reach the next B&B”
  4. “We were really excited at the idea of staying en famille in a lighthouse but after three weeks the attraction of that constantly flashing light did begin to pall”
  5. “Quite frankly, if he’d followed my advice and put off marking that dissertation until we got home, he’d never have slipped his disc at the Gare du Nord”.


Faith of our Fathers

“I really don’t see the need.”

That was the reaction of Janet Fluellen, our Director of Curriculum Development, to the proposal from Peter Lutzeier, vice-chancellor of Newman University, Birmingham, that England’s three existing Catholic institutions of higher education might come together to form a national Catholic university.

Ms Fluellen said she believed such a move would be “deeply divisive”. Rather than entrenching all Catholic studies in a single institution, it was surely better to follow the Poppleton path of catering to Catholic students by incorporating distinctively Catholic topics within existing curricula. She instanced the presence of the Virgin Birth option in second-year Biology, the Life after Death course that formed such an integral part of third-year Gerontology Studies, and the “Three in One: Understanding the Holy Trinity” lecture series that was currently a compulsory element of the Mathematics tripos.

Ms Fluellen emphasised that these courses were in no way restricted to Catholic undergraduates: they were open to all students who could display “the required level of credulity”.


Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

“Please note that next week’s session on Psychosomatic Disorders has been cancelled because the guest lecturer thinks she is unwell.”

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Reader's comments (1)

I can relate to the lighthouse group (#4). It wasn't the flashing light, it was the foghorn!

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