Laurie Taylor column

October 13, 2000

"Universities have broken Ucas anti-poaching rules by rubbishing other institutions"The THES, October 6 Professor Lapping, do you have a moment?

What is it now, Maureen?

A Mrs Doubleday wants to know what to do about her son.

Put her on immediately. Ah, good morning, Mrs Doubleday. Professor Lapping here. How can I help?

It's about my son, Zak. He's accepted a place at Uttoxeter University, but then a Dr Quintock from your department rang him and said that he'd be most unwise to go there because of all the trouble and offered him a place at Poppleton.

Well, Dr Quintock is our admissions officer and he very much sees it as part of his job to help young people make such an important decision. Was he specific about the trouble at Uttoxeter?

He simply said that there was a lot of it about.

I see. He didn't mention the crumbling buildings, the under-qualified staff and the total lack of social amenities.

Not specifically.

He didn't go on to describe Uttoxeter as quite the dullest town in the country.

Not in so many words.

Excellent. The Universities Admissions Service has strict rules about poaching and I wouldn't like to feel Dr Quintock had overstepped the mark. Now, I've checked our records and although Zak hardly excelled in his A levels there is clear evidence of promise in the rest of his application. I'd like to recognise that by offering him a £300 signing-on bursary if he chooses to come to Poppleton.

£500.

£350.

£450.

£400.

Done. Zak will be with you on Monday.

Thank you, Mrs Doubleday. A pleasure to do business with you.


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