Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Cry Freedom

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Cry Freedom

Article excerpt

"What do we get for our membership?"

That was the question posed by Jamie Targett, our Director of Corporate Affairs, as he revealed that Poppleton was seeking to exit from Universities UK.

Targett told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that our university's newly initiated Freedom From Universities UK campaign (F-UUK) was a reaction to the increasingly undemocratic nature of an organisation that portentously described itself as the "voice of the universities".

"Imagine how we might spend the lump sum that this university hands over every year to UUK. It's enough to provide free balloons at staff Christmas parties, extra biscuits at committee meeting and subsidised strawberries and cream on degree days."

But might exiting UUK mean that we could no longer participate in critical debates about the future of higher education?

Targett waved away any such concern. "There is no debate. The only sound that ever emanates from UUK is the rumbling of its senior members rolling over in the face of the latest government pronouncement."

But should we give up our seat at the table?

"What table? Anyone who has spent time with UUK will confirm that the organisation is run by an unelected bunch of overpaid and bloated vice-chancellors who make all their decisions over expenses-paid brandy and sodas at the Athenaeum Club."

At this point, Targett proudly unveiled the new 20-foot high F-UUK banner that will fly from our university cooling tower with the proud announcement: "WE'VE GOT OUR CAMPUS BACK".

Letters to the Editor

Dear Sir or Madam,

I'm in the lower sixth form and thinking about applying for an undergraduate place at your esteemed university. However, friends and relations tell me that I would be better off going to "a Russell Group" university. Could you please tell me the difference between a normal university and a Russell Group university and suggest which might be best for me? …

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