Gareth gathering

April 12, 1996

Robert Cormack of Queen's University Belfast and Robert Osborne of the University of Ulster, who head the universities' joint centre for research on higher education, are known collectively as The Bobs. But when they turned up to present a paper at the Society for Research into Higher Education's Belfast conference, they found strong competition from The Gareths, Gareth Rees of the University of Wales, and Gareth Williams and Gareth Parry of London University's Institute of Education.

Sir Kenneth Bloomfield, chairman of the Northern Ireland Higher Education Council, apologised for the failure of his Welsh father to call him Gareth, while John Andrews, chief executive of the Welsh funding councils, confessed: "My mother wanted to call me Gareth, but my father couldn't stand the name".

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