The root of our problems

September 8, 2011

Our Deputy Head of Sociology, Professor L.G. Angst, has reacted angrily to Hefce costings that show that subjects such as sociology will, under the new tuition-fees regime, help to subsidise more costly subjects such as dentistry.

He told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that he fundamentally objected to this privileging of dentistry, a subject that had "a disturbing ideological tendency to suggest that a contemporary individual's sickness unto death with the fractured anomic liquidity of neoliberal class-ridden consumer-obsessed late-stage capitalism might be remedied by nothing more structurally foundational than a couple of fillings and some diligent flossing."

However, members of our dentistry faculty were quick to respond.

Dr Roger Solvent, a leading member of the faculty and author of Caries in the Community, dismissed Professor Angst's comments as "nothing more than the usual pinko mouthwash".

'Glyndwr can do more' - Targett

"Disappointingly half-hearted." That was how Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs, responded to the news that every degree course at Glyndwr University in Wales will be designed at least in part by employers.

Targett told The Poppletonian that he admired Glyndwr's readiness to lower tuition fees to £6,643 a year and welcomed its vice-chancellor Mike Scott's assertion that the most important measure of his university's courses was whether employers were "satisfied with the product".

But Targett still believed an opportunity had been missed.

"Here at Poppleton," he pointed out, "we not only insist on employer involvement in designing courses, but also in their actual teaching. Our three main undergraduate Pork Studies courses are now all taught by hands-on operatives from Poppleton Pork Products and externally examined for vocational relevance by leading members of the sausage industry."

Targett believed that the "employer-oriented" route being taken by Glyndwr and Poppleton would eventually help to blur the "unhelpful" distinction between a university and a factory.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

The new term kicks off with a special seminar on Monday 12 September titled: "The role of erotic capital in academic advancement". (Ugly people welcome.)

Huw and cry

Gordon Lapping, Head of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies, has issued a formal apology following complaints from more than 100 distinguished media and cultural studies academics about his recent appearance on the popular Radio Poppleton phone-in That's What I Think Anyway.

The complaints centred on Professor Lapping's "racist" suggestion that it was difficult to accord proper political significance to BBC One's News at 10 when it was read by someone with a "parochial Welsh accent".

As the objectors were anxious to point out, Lapping's acknowledged expertise lies in the area of Fiona Bruce and his decision to move outside this specialist domain raised serious questions about Radio Poppleton's editorial standards.

Huw Edwards was not available for comment.

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