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Home > Culture and Society

The TFT Guide To: Corporate universities

Tutors at Ye Olde University of Oxforde have criticised plans for business wonks to have more say in the running of the institution. They're not happy about the controversial idea of setting up a board of trustees, many of whom have strong corporate links. But if business involvement continues to increase, what will higher education look like in the future?

1 May 2005

1) Undergraduate essays to be written in clueless business gobbledegook, ie. 'The hero of A Midsummer Night's Dream is clearly Demetrius, who is a pro-active self-starter, unlike Theseus, who is in danger of managing by committee. Oberon and Puck's 'love potion' enterprise is admirable, and really does offer a one-stop-shop, 24/7 total love solution, but would benefit from applying a hub-spoke business model, and their failure to market the 'love potion' commercially outside Fairyland demonstrates what can happen to the SME that does not have a clear strategic vision...'

2) Alan Sugar becomes chancellor of Cambridge University. The university's traditional motto 'Hinc lucem et pocula sacra' ('from the university we receive enlightenment and precious knowledge') is changed to: 'Nil bullshittum, nil schmoozum, nil timewastum.'

3) 2005 Oxford/Cambridge boat race ends in tragedy as the two teams are forced to attempt to circumnavigate the globe as part of a sponsorship deal with Homebase.

4) Traditional erudite discussion at high table becomes a thing of the past, as MacDonald's takes over all university catering and academics become obsessed with collecting the Pokemon characters that come with their Happy Meals.

5) Big business is finally able to get universities to produce the kind of graduates that British industry needs. New degree courses include:

- Politics, Philosophy and Surface-to-Air Target Acquisition Systems Engineering;

- Drama, Dance and How to Keep Your Head Down and Do What You're Told;

- Media and Call Centre Studies.*

*May already exist, at least in practice.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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