Sunday, October 24, 2010
Cutting Back at BNU
Even before the spending review, cutbacks had started at Big Northern University. "You probably know we have a new coalition government," a lecturer tells eighty Chinese students, "and we're under pressure to reduce costs." The students may not know about the workings of British democracy, I think, but they've probably worked out that paying eleven thousand pounds a year should preclude them having to share an A4 photocopy. "I'm really embarrassed about this," says another lecturer, "but I'll have to ask you to print off your own handouts before each session." "Nobody mentioned having to buy your own printer before we started the course," a student whispers in my ear.