UUK is OK!

November 4, 2010

Our vice-chancellor has vigorously defended the response of Universities UK to the Browne Review.

Speaking to our reporter Keith Ponting (30), he commended UUK's decision to say absolutely nothing whatsoever about the abolition of all public funding for the arts and humanities.

He also praised UUK's total silence on Lord Browne's view that student courses should primarily be evaluated by their employment returns.

Neither was he at all "perturbed" by UUK's decision to remain completely mute about the Browne proposals for a centralised intervention in admission standards and course content.

When pressed by Ponting for his overall view of UUK's failure to respond in any way at all to any aspect of the Browne Review, he described it as "welcome evidence, in a world of change, of UUK's consistent commitment over the years to ineffectual passivity".

Top-shelf studies

Our senior lecturer in creative writing, Dr Hank Johnson, has declared that he is "simply moving with the times" in his decision to introduce a new BA course in Filthy Fiction.

Speaking to The Poppletonian, Dr Johnson said that he thoroughly agreed with the recent contention by Farah Mendlesohn, reader in creative and media writing at Middlesex University, that "creative writing has changed" and "moved away from literary fiction to embrace genre fiction".

"In these changed times", said Dr Johnson, "when there is more and more market demand for writing on such genre topics as girl-on-girl action, teens coming of age, soaked stockings, young harlots' finishing school and anal mania, it would clearly be an abdication of responsibility to focus academic attention solely upon finding another Kazuo Ishiguro."

Plato de Jour

According to a recent study conducted by Nancy Harbinger, our Deputy Head of Student Experience, there is little evidence in the Poppleton region of what David Willetts recently described as "an enormous hunger" for arts and humanities subjects.

In the first part of a longitudinal study, respondents were tested on their appetite for philosophy. Ninety-four per cent of those surveyed declare that they have no wish to "sink their teeth" into Plato, Hume, Locke or Kant, while more than 80 per cent do not feel any necessity to include a portion of either Hegel or Kierkegaard in a "well-balanced diet". However, on a more positive note, as many as 22 per cent of the sample indicate that they might enjoy a "taste of Nietzsche" and 14 per cent agree that they could be tempted by a "nibble of Sartre".

Ms Harbinger described the results as further evidence that the university's decision to cut its Philosophy Department to the bone was consonant with the public assessment of the nutritional value of its current courses.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Please note that next week's workshop on Coping with Personal Tragedy is limited to teachers of non-STEM subjects. Thank you for your understanding.


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