Peep's diary

November 30, 2007

Fluffy actions arouse concern

It is always pleasing to hear of Liverpool University academics' outreach work and growing global acclaim. Liverpool's Professor Fluffy, a small purple puppet, began working with Merseyside schools in 2005 and last year travelled throughout the UK to introduce primary school pupils to higher education. The Aimhigher-funded soft toy is now to be adapted for a US audience.

But Peep has been moved to raise concerns about Professor Fluffy's suspicious behaviour. On her website, in a section titled "Professor Fluffy catches up on the latest education news", she is pictured reading not The Times Higher but the further education section of our sister paper, The Times Educational Supplement . A Liverpool spokesman said the professor was busy packing for her US visit and was unavailable for comment, but he pointed out that there was nothing sinister in her choice of reading material. "Professor Fluffy is a globe-trotting academic and reads the whole spectrum of specialist education media around the world. She is an avid reader of both The Times Higher and FE Focus," the spokesman said.

Aston orange: students see red

Aston University's £65,000 image rebrand has prompted a revolt to rival the furore over the 2012 Olympic logo. Students are not impressed by a new logo featuring an orange triangle above the university title.

"It wouldn't look out of place on a packet of Doritos," one told the Birmingham Mail . "The orange looks cheap, like a mobile phone company or a no-frills airline."

More than 1,000 students have visited the Facebook website to protest. On a page called "I strongly believe that the new Aston University logos are horrible", disgruntled students display spoof alternative designs.

Cheetah-facing initiative

A fact-finding mission to Africa took a dramatic turn when a Chester University professor helped recapture a runaway cheetah.

Allan Owens was visiting the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust in South Africa to help set up education projects and links with the University of Pretoria when a big cat escaped. The professor of education pitched in to help with an early-morning rescue mission, and the beast was returned to the reserve.


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