Making a crisis out of a drama

February 25, 2005

Natfhe, the lecturers' union, brought out the big guns this week on another pressing higher education issue. Just as Tony Blair once bizarrely championed the campaign for Coronation Street's Deirdre to be released from prison, so Natfhe has decided to take a stand about the educational needs of a character in Radio 4's long-running soap The Archers .

The union is pressing the teenage Alice to resist her pompous father Brian and take her A levels at the local Borchester College, rather than staying on at her private school's sixth form. This seems problematic - and not simply because Alice is imaginary. Can Natfhe really be sure of Borchester's credentials? Is it a beacon college or are they trumpeting a sink institution? Regardless, Natfhe members will doubtless be reassured that their membership fees are being spent on some really serious lobbying.

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