Standing in King’s Parade, tearing up tenners

I had to go along  to a meeting today, ostensibly about the future of funding for graduate students. It lasted an hour, though it was fortunately held just fifteen minutes away. Still, that’s an hour-and-a-half out of my life. There were about thirty people there. So that’s at least forty-five hours lost by various academics and administrators. The meeting therefore in effect sopped up … what? fifteen hundred pounds worth of time? … at a conservative estimate of salaries.

The real content of the meeting (the take-home message, as they say ) could have been put in a snappy five line e-mail.

If members of the university admin staff — of course, the one conspicuously growing body in the university — stood in King’s Parade tearing up tenners*, academics (and everyone else) would rightly be incensed. So why the hell do we put up with this kind of thing?

*For my mystified non-UK readers, a tenner is a ten pound note!

4 thoughts on “Standing in King’s Parade, tearing up tenners”

  1. Only an hour? Could have been worse in my experience. Still such events do provide occasion for discreet use of one’s phone apps. Another round of Civilization Revolution anyone?

  2. It’s what educational institutes often do best. My old school spent 3,000pounds on a new school bell that played classical music. And then broke after 2months. And several thousand more on a ridiculous number of HD FLat screen TVs positioned at various places around the school, playing the news (without sound) and displaying notices. A few notice boards would have done.

  3. Good to know that the impending cuts in funding for the HE sector will just reduce this sort of inefficiency and will have no adverse effect on teaching or research.

    Or perhaps not.

    You’re not exactly on-message, are you Peter. Though I did burst out laughing yesterday when the R4 newsreader solemnly quoted the Russell group. I particularly liked:

    ‘It has taken more than 800 years to create one of the world’s greatest education systems, and it looks like it will take just six months to bring it to its knees.’


    ‘The cuts to universities … threaten to reduce a “gold standard” system to one that is “silver, bronze or worse”.’

    Worse even than bronze! With nary a world-class bit of research in sight.

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