Thursday, 10 June 2010

A Sad Publication

Lots of paper junk still comes through the front door, and unless there is a direct route to the bin it can pile up and add to the mess already on a cupboard top near the front door.

The latest delivery is for University of Hull alumni, and a smelly printed thing it is too of some now combined publication. It is all about the corporate image of the University and all good news. It is led by business and business based research, with some to the arts later on. Not one aspect is critical at any point. Its most celebrated ex-student is a corporate boss of a pointless international drinks company, who bangs on about global sustainability and cultures, the very opposite of what his firm represents. His platitudes could have come from many a multinational corporate nobody.

I am someone who must be, by this and other measures, one of their worst achieving ex-students, but I can see that this is nothing but marketing speak. I value humans differently than this university publication. As for former heads of the University being mentioned, I bet they had a more critical view of a more critical institution, a place of learning for the sake of learning, with an agenda of developing critical thought. Does a publication like this convince anyone of anything, other than the pen pushers of marketing speak and the divergence of otherwise creative minds that this form of writing involves?

Today a government minister is unsure about what to do regarding the terrible debt HE students face, a debt that goes on to skew the housing market later, and involves difficult employment decisions (including debt repayment avoidance in some cases). This is the real news about universities, to do with the legacy of a Labour Government that started destroying the universities and kept them on a trajectory of being an arm of corporate business, no doubt to continue. Rest in Peace, universities.

The publication and its smelly ink is now in the bin after approximately one hour of consumption. No doubt this action is repeated by other people receiving such publications from other universities up and down the land, produced in the name of competition and corporate image.

1 comment:

susan s. said...

It's like that over here in the US, too. Once or twice a year the Alumni paper comes with the list of the donors tied to articles about the donors. I don't even bother to read it before putting it in the recycling. The ink does stink.