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Caveat Emptor

The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

What is a university?

The Guardian today gives space in its education section to what is, in effect, an advertisement for BPP University College masquerading as a comment piece by BPP principal Carl Lygo. BPP is a private, for profit, college with degree awarding powers. Personally I've nothing against such colleges entering the market and I can see the attraction of the no frills, low cost model. What they should not be allowed to do is pretend that they are something they are not. Lyco can scarcely be accused of that. In fact I'm amazed by his candour. He writes:
"So how can we do all this and still charge only around half the fees the other charge? The answer is by cutting back on costs in areas that do not directly affect the student experience. Having underutilised real estate (classrooms, libraries, lecture theatres, breakout space) that students do not use is just a drain on cost."

Classrooms, libraries, lecture theatres and breakout space do not directly affect the student experience? Did I  read that right or have I just entered a parallel universe in which the English language no longer means what I thought it meant. Or is this just standard corporate speak which, silly old me, nobody is meant to take seriously and is "qualified" in the small print?

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