Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Stereotyping universities

God, I hate being stereotyped. I don't think I'm absent-minded, nor do I wear a mortar-board. When Peter Mandelson says that universities should not be "islands or ivory towers" (see here) he is of course insinuating that universities are just that, out of touch with the real world, and so on. Well, it's a salutary reminder of what it must be like to belong to a social or racial group that gets itself stereotyped on a more frequent basis. Mandelson's remark forms part of a dismal-looking package of proposed reforms to the higher education system that purport to enhance the "customer experience"... not much in the way of concrete proposals, which is probably just as well, it's mainly a vague attempt to get universities perceived as just another industry. Mind you, if that's where he's coming from, can someone point out to him that we are, at least, a net exporter? Bloody politicians - they're all the same, got nothing better to do than spend half their time spouting off whatever cheap populist slogans it takes to get elected (not that we can accuse Mandelson of getting elected), and the other half making fabulous sums of money on after-dinner speeches and consulting contracts. All right, back to marking my COMP209 class test...

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