The THES Diary

October 16, 1998

Wisdom on stilts

Some vice chancellors seek acclaim, others have it foisted upon them. Howard Newby, Southampton University's v-c, found himself in the lattercategory last week.

Lord (John) Patten made it clear to the House of Lords that as far as he is concerned, Professor Newby is "wisdom on stilts" and "probably Western Europe's greatest rural sociologist".

This contrasts with Lord Patten's usual reaction to hearing the word sociologist, which, apparently, is to "reach formy gun".

Student delivers lecture

A new Glasgow University student this week celebrated his arrival by giving a lecture.

David Martin, MEP, vice-president of the European Parliament, has matriculated as a postgraduate student in politics, and been co-opted to contribute lectures on "Europe After the Cold War: the Politics of European Integration".

One foot in the uni

I don't believe it. Actor Richard Wilson, rector of Glasgow University who plays eternally grumpy Victor Meldrew in the television programme One Foot in the Grave has been asked to give a lecture in December at the University of Birmingham. Its subject? Happiness.

Hi-tech Huddersfield

The University of Huddersfield's student union has hit on a clever wheeze to stop its members straying into the rival delights of Huddersfield town centre .

It has set up a loyalty card scheme "similar to Tesco's and Sainsbury's", offering 20p back for every pound spent in the bars and nightclub.

"Huddersfield doesn't usually spring to mind as the forefront of technology but it's time for that to change," the union declared.

Yeast: Gazza's downfall

Footballer Paul Gascoigne, now trying to beat the booze, may be interested in the following dry fact, courtesy of the European Commission: yeast is the basis for the manufacture of 24 billion litres of alcohol worldwide every year. An EC conference in November promises more yeast facts.

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