The THES Diary

July 23, 1999

Cafe society

He's back. Roger Ward, disgraced former head of the Association of Colleges, opened his new cafe-restaurant this week in London's Muswell Hill. Champagne-loving Ward was upbeat as he answered the phone at the Cafe on the Hill, Fortis Green Road. "It's all fantastic," he shouted above the hubbub. Cooking the "continental/Mediterranean" food on offer, he says, are chefs trained at the Savoy and Mezzo. According to a local newsletter, the cafe's hallmark will be "quality at reasonable prices, served with style".

Decisions deferred

There was much mutual appreciation at the first joint AUT/Natfhe conference, convened last week to discuss the Bett report. The bonhomie was only momentarily disturbed by a point of order, pointing out that nobody had decided how the conference was going to make any decisions. The main thing is that they met at all, the conference decided.

Only joking?

University cynics who still have a sense of humour should take a look at www.cynicalbastards.com/ubs/. Professing to be the website of the University of Bums on Seats, headed by vice-chancellor Alan Dubious, "a leading light in the field of academic downsizing", this boasts of its "character over qualifications admissions policy, which ensures no one will be rejected on any grounds except non-payment of fees".

Testing time

We trust that all admissions tutors with responsibility for international students have boned up on the legal requirements for students entering the country. Delegates at the Council for International Education, Ukcosa, annual conference in Oxford this week competed for a trophy in a pub quiz with questions covering trivia... and immigration rules.

Lost youths

Public service union Unison is thrilled with the extra payments promised to further education support staff over the millennium. It warns that these staff could turn out to be extra busy "as colleges do find themselves vulnerable over holiday periods to ex-students who take it into their heads to revisit the scene of their youth". Beats Trafalgar Square or Edinburgh's Princes Street, presumably.

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