Babel talk

November 14, 1997

Glasgow University's latest staff newsletter tells of the heroism of the estates and buildings division, each year replaces 8,000 lightbulbs, deals with almost 1,000 burst pipes, 600 blocked drains and 400 roof leaks, and spends Pounds 0 a week removing fly posters and graffiti.

The article also stresses the importance of quality assurance for higher education service units as well as academic departments, although it says ISO9000 is more obscure than the Code of Hammurabi, which several thousand years ago stated: If a builder has built a house for a man, and the house he has built falls in and kills the householder, that builder shall be slain. "As a basis for quality assurance, the Babylonian builders' code has the attraction of accountability, transparency and simplicity," the newsletter concludes.

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