Laurie Taylor – 6 August 2015

The official weekly newsletter of the University of Poppleton. Finem respice!

August 6, 2015
Couple in lobby of Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel, Ontario, Canada
Source: Getty montage
Down and out in the Athenaeum

A very personal tragedy

Disturbing rumours have reached The Poppletonian about the unfortunate condition of two people, popularly known by their initials as QAA and Hefce, who once enjoyed almost unrivalled prestige within higher education.

Our informant, who recently observed this elderly twosome wandering disconsolately around the atrium of the Athenaeum Club, described them as “clearly in a distressed state”.

“Poor old Hefce”, he observed, “obviously felt himself to be a spent force now that he no longer had any substantial funds to distribute, while his partner, sad down-at-heel QAA, found herself deprived of all her former inspection work following the decision to abolish her cyclical reviews of established providers.”

There were reports, added our informant, that the couple had tried to overcome their present scrapheap status by offering to do a variety of other jobs in higher education for which their suitability was in serious question.

So was there any other way in which this redundant couple might overcome their present straitened circumstances? Our informant said that he was reluctant to spread rumours but could not overlook unconfirmed reports that the couple might try to retain some of their former dignity by agreeing to a suicide pact.

Sounding the all clear

Our Head of Student Recruitment, Nathan Prest, has asked The Poppletonian to remind all members of staff who will be involved in the clearing process that they must attend this week’s special Clearing Induction Course for instruction in some of the basic modes of response to employ when engaged in conversation or other forms of interaction with prospective students. These response modes include the following formulae:

  • “Yes, we’d simply love to have you here at Poppleton”
  • “Yes, we’d be absolutely delighted to have you here at Poppleton”
  • “Hey, never mind those lousy grades. You sound just like the sort of person we want at Poppleton”
  • “Hang on for a moment while I consult with a colleague.” (10-second pause.) “Yes, she confirms that we’d be utterly thrilled to have you with us at Poppleton”
  • “How soon can you get here?”

Mr Prest said that he hoped this clarified the situation.

A correction

In last week’s Poppletonian, we went out of our way to congratulate the private for-profit New College of the Humanities on a new deal that will ensure that its degrees are now to be validated by Southampton Solent University.

However, in referring to this new degree we inadvertently described it as “BA Humanities (Insolent)”. This was not, of course, a description of the degree’s designation but was a reference to the £18,000 a year fees charged by New College. We apologise for the error.

Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Although I am away from the office for the next few weeks, my assistant will be on hand to answer correspondence from those who have experienced holiday disappointment or trauma. Such people as Professor Lapping, who emails to say: “My recent holiday to Normandy ended terribly. I found I was on the road to Rouen.”

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