Reality checks

"False or exaggerated claims in university prospectuses are among the most damaging features of the current university system" - David Watson speaking to the Higher Education Academy, July 2007

July 13, 2007

University of Poppleton
From: Gloria Bull, Deputy Head of Prospectus Development
Subject: Amendments to Prospectus

There have been some recent concerns expressed about the accuracy of the information contained within university prospectuses. Here at Poppleton, we have always endeavoured to ensure that our prospectus is a truthful, reliable guide to the unparalleled wonders of this university. However, to ensure even greater accuracy, I am now writing with a few minor amendments. Please ensure that these corrections are made before mailing copies to prospective students.

Where is Poppleton?

Amend "located in the heart of rolling countryside with distant views of the sea" to "quite close to some fields" and delete reference to the visibility of the sea. Amend "regular high-speed trains to London" to "trains to London". Amend "everything in the city is within walking distance of the campus" to "there is currently no bus service".

Academic achievements

From paragraph 2, omit "world-class", "international supremacy" and "Oxbridge of the north". From paragraph 4, omit all five uses of "cutting edge".

Student satisfaction

Delete all five photographs of smiling students.

Teaching and research

Omit all fourteen references to "unique". In paragraph 14, amend "our young vibrant thrusting entrepreneurial teaching staff" to "our teaching staff". In paragraph 21, change "wide-ranging" to "ranging" and "exceptionally diverse" to "fairly different".

League Tables

Paragraph 8 currently reads "It's official! The University of Poppleton is the UK's top modern university". Amend to "It's unofficial"; omit exclamation mark.

Famous Alumni

Change "a score of leading rock stars" to "one middle-ranking folk singer". Omit "Harold Pinter" and "Frances Crick".

I hope this clarifies the prospectus.

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