'We know nothing' - QAA

March 1, 2012

"Hands off the Quality Assurance Agency."

That was the robust response of Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs, to the news that the QAA has absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of 63 out of the 94 private providers who currently benefit from state-backed student loans funding.

Targett told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that it would be only "a matter of time" before the QAA team got around to assessing the quality of such private providers as the Delamar Academy (the UK's "leading professional make-up school") and Mattersey Hall ("preparing men and women for productive Christian service").

When asked by Ponting if the QAA's assertion that it had "good knowledge" of private providers was at odds with its lack of knowledge of most private providers, Targett pointed out that in the past the QAA's idea of "good knowledge" had always been based on the seriously misleading form-filling evidence that institutions provided of their own teaching quality.

This meant, he said, that the QAA's "total lack of knowledge" could be seen by those with an open mind as "something of an advance".

Eyes forward - quick march

Louise Bimpson, the Director of our ever-expanding Human Resources Department, has issued a new set of guidelines for members of the university who need to be "escorted from the premises" after being told that they are no longer required.

Ms Bimpson explained that the problem of "premise escortment" had been foregrounded by events at the London College of Communication, where the college's head, Sandra Kemp, had apparently sought advice from PR guru Max Clifford after incurring extensive criticism for her association with two recent "escortment" cases.

Under the new Poppleton guidelines, members of staff who are being escorted - or "kemped" - from campus should observe the following proprieties:

1. All escortees should face forward and maintain the same walking pace as their escortment officers

2. All escortees should refrain from waving "goodbye" or shouting "good luck" to colleagues who witness the escortment

3. All escortees should desist from provocative references to "authoritarianism", "jackboots" and "academic freedom" during the period of their escortment.

Ms Bimpson trusted that this now clarified the situation.

Next customer please

We learn that our Director of Curriculum Development, Janet Fluellen, is refusing to apologise for the closure of 35 per cent of our university's undergraduate degree courses. In her defence, she pointed out that it was now more important than ever to concentrate on our most popular courses.

Asked by The Poppletonian if this measure in any way contradicted the new emphasis on the student as customer, she insisted that a customer focus would still be at the "centre of our strategic policy".

However, the model for Poppleton in the future was "a little less Waitrose and a great deal more Spar". After all, said Ms Fluellen, no one would expect Spar to stock Pommery Moutarde de Meaux - and that was very much the thinking behind Poppleton's recent decision not to afford shelf space to French and German studies.

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Are you a senior academic? Do you find yourself forgetting things?

Next week's seminar on Tuesday 13 March at 7.30 is just for you. That's Tuesday 13 March at 7.30. That's Tuesday 13 March at 7.30. That's Tuesday 13 March at 7.30.


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