White Paper fallout, QAA reform and US study costs

Have your say on the reaction to last week's White Paper, the criticism of the government's proposals on quality assurance and the website revealing the priciest US universities

July 28, 2008

The Editor’s top picks:

1. Pucker up, piglets

2. Verdict on QAA reform: amateurish and daft

3. Named and shamed: high US study costs exposed

4. Elite to take up AAB gauntlet

5. The people below stairs

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Off-piste: when academic writers step outside their area of expertise…

"The Doctor has been around for as long as I have. While I have used up precious time learning to walk, talk and use the toilet, the Doctor has saved humanity, the Earth and even the Universe many times."
David Sheff

"Why is it that today, with a tapas bar on almost every corner in big cities, the young wolf down chorizos, patatas bravas, albondigas and queso con anchoas but drink lager or nasty white wine? Shame on them. Get back to basics!"
Aldwyn Cooper

"Normally, I find descents serene and think of them as one of the best parts of the dive. You go down slowly, carefully equalising the pressure difference between your ears and the ever-increasing squeeze of the water. Oddly it feels like floating when in fact you are sinking. This is one of the curious, and slightly oxymoronic, pleasures of the underwater experience: a sort of between-states feeling, of inhabiting neither the world of solids nor of gasses."
Rick Rylance

"So it turns out that I have an 18-year-old with Down's syndrome who has a fierce competitive streak. Who knew? Even Jamie himself was unaware of it until he entered adolescence. It feeds his sense of self-esteem, it helps to keep him in shape and it affords him some pride in his accomplishments."
Michael Bérubé

"Children's lives, particularly those of the very young, are made up of moment-to-moment experiences - watching a spider spin its web on the windowsill; creating waves in the bathtub; squishing slippery peas through little fingers. They are not preoccupied with the past or anxiously thinking about the future in the way that adults often are. Their joy, excitement, frustration and sorrow are lived intensely in each moment."
Crystal N. Feimster

"It is possible to articulate both the wild, unrestrained optimism and eventual disappointment and betrayal of my entire generation in one word - jetpacks."
David J. Gunkel

"They say that life begins at 40 (or 50, or whatever age you fancy), but for me it really begins at 100. That is, 100 miles per hour. Once you "turn a ton" you're in another world. The scenery flashes by a lot faster, but everything else decelerates. It becomes strangely still, and you feel a floating sensation."
Lou Marinoff

"I seem to be the only living thing that notices the birds here, except for the school cat, a black tom hired to catch the mice in the basement, who prowls around looking like he wouldn't mind a few sparrows for afters. I have seen birds flapping about right next to students gossiping on the terrace directly below my office window, and neither species was shaken out of its benign indifference to the other."
Joe Moran

"Whether my great-grandfather, Rabbi Moishe, was booted out by his congregation, chose to return to Prague voluntarily, or perhaps was cheated of his life's savings by Bernard Madoff's great-grandfather, the fact remains that in 1885 he packed up his yarmulke, tallith and phylacteries and headed back to the Old Country after just three years in America."
Richard Larschan

"Sociology is obsessed with outsiders. As the Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman once said, the discipline finds itself at home in the world of hipsters, drug addicts, jazz musicians, night people, drifters, grafters and skid-row denizens: "It prefers the offbeat to the familiar, the standpoint of the hip outsider to the dull insider.""
John D. Brewer

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