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Thursday, 09 February 2012


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Blimey, where do I begin?!

First, I was born and grew up in the fair town of Luton, and the old H.E. College was just as you said. I remember returning to visit relatives there and seeing "University of Luton" signs for the first time, and thinking that they were a student rag week piss-take. Engineers and graphic designers - that would be just the sort of stunt they would get up to, making fake road signs! Many years before that, I remember waiting for the bus with my dad in the town centre and I loved to look through the windows of the college at the engineers using their welding torches. My dad used to try to distract me, saying that it could hurt my eyes. I wonder if it was really because as a factory worker he knew all this was coming to an end, and I would do better to get myself a nice clean job in, say, educational management?

Second, this is in fact where I have ended up. I can still convince myself that (in my particular role) I contribute something of value to society, but the types you write about are all too familiar to me. The whole thing is a racket designed to relieve taxpayers of their money. Quentin Letts and your good self might occasionally be accused of hyperbole, a bit of exaggeration for comic effect. I promise you that in the case of "the new Higher Education", you could not parody it because the truth is worse than your imaginings.

Long ago I had a chum who worked in a Poly: the bosses were determined to convert it into a University; my friend disagreed. "Not one of them knows what he's talking about" he said "because none of them attended a good university themselves."

I 'feel your pain', 'W'. I never attended a polytechnic (I was too thick!) but I knew others who did and it seemed to me they were more or less exactly right for producing skilled blokes (and 'blokettes') to do the sort of jobs that actually make the world go round, as opposed to oiks like me who are good for nothing, and egg-heads like 'DM'. Their demise has been a quiet disaster for this country. However, I know there are still a few good people like you, 'W', doing your best in an ocean of frivolity.

Got a web address for that school David? Over here we'd call it "the Registrar's office" (where one must go to enroll in particular stuff) ... I'm thinking topping my credit hours with breastfeeding counselling would go quite a distance getting me a new government job.

JK, you have no need of the course, I have it on good authority that you already have a Masters Degree in the subject!

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