Now just think about this for a moment

A gross injustice is being done to universities, students and all our futures as the government abandons higher education to its fate

So says a man who currently – if only for a few weeks longer – holds three professorial posts within the British university system.

First, this will lead to mass redundancies at universities, and most especially amongst academic staff, many of whom are on temporary contracts.

Well, that could affect him.

Third, the failure of the government to support research when Brexit is also causing untold damage to the sector as a result of the loss of European cooperation cannot be overstated: we will now be in the research wilderness.

At least one of those professori was paid for from EU funding.

And do you know what? Nowhere at all in this discussion of the inequity of this gross injustice is there a single mention of how The Great Tuber is talking his own book.

It is usual in such situations to make at least a joking, or even coy, reference to how self-interest is coinciding with the call to spend other peoples’ tax money on oneself.

But, you know, no.

18 thoughts on “Now just think about this for a moment”

  1. Couldn’t money be saved by getting rid of all the various Gender Studies and Underwater Basket Weaving departments.

    And by not insisting that at least 50% of each yearly cohort pass through a university, with most getting a degree that only entitles them to a job that involves asking “Would you like fries with that?”

  2. First, this will lead to mass redundancies at universities,

    If you’re redundant, you’re redundant. It doesn’t matter how much money the university has, if you’re superfluous to requirements then you should be shown the door so you can find some place where you can contribute.

  3. The Meissen Bison

    The answer should be obvious to a man of Capt. Potato’s broad vision: universities should be allowed to print more students so as to improve their finances.

    Oh, but what’s this?

    Caps on university student numbers to return to avoid ‘scramble’ for undergraduates

  4. Slightly OT

    When this is the quality of university work, it’s about fecking time we had a serious cull of these “academics” whose employment costs are no doubt not trivial. Note this is from Murphy’s technical college

    https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/may/04/male-experts-dominate-uk-news-shows-during-coronavirus-crisis

    Almost three times as many male as female experts featured on the UK’s flagship TV and radio news programmes in March as the media focused on the political handling of the coronavirus outbreak across Britain.

    The imbalance represents a three-year high, according to data gathered by the Expert Women project (EWP) from City, University of London.

  5. If, like me, you had an academic career, you will know that the major sums of money asked for in research grants are used to support research students or assistants and technicians, with some in the sciences usually going towards laboratory equipment and materials, together with (in the earth sciences like Geology) support for fieldwork.

    If the academic staff member wants to do their own work, they inevitably have access to a reasonable computer, online access to journals and other resources, a phone, copier, probably a scanner and printer – and having that resource opens up huge vistas for research. So you can do a lot of research in many fields without a penny in (research) support if you do it yourself.

    While the salaries don’t stretch to supporting research students or buying apparatus (I built my own), they are ample enough to allow an academic to pay for their own research materials and perhaps fieldwork, and the intensity of the ‘day job’ is not usually such as to prevent you from doing the research – and anyway, there are vacations if you can’t find time in the week or weekends.

    Also, don’t forget that big chunks of research grants go to the bureaucracy in a university as ‘overheads’ – sometimes a 40% surcharge on what it costs to employ those research staff etc.

    Plus, if you are in the right field you publish aspects of your consultancy.

  6. Re Excavator Man’s comment:

    40% on “Overheads”? Wow! I worked in the private sector, you know, with lower wages than the equivalent public sector, worse pension plans, etc, etc., but we never stole 40% of the fruits of labour for office bods.
    These universities are receiving a rude awakening thanks to CV19 – I see it as the end of Blair’s insane “everyone should go to university” mantra, which added huge personal debts for little benefit to two whole generations (including to my children).
    It’s time for reality to strike – the UK cannot afford to support so many academics, especially with the loss of overseas students’ fees, which may never return to 2019 levels.

  7. It’s not just the add 40% overheads. In order to ensure that the overheads are being included all grant applications have to be checked to ensure they have been fully costed, which delays applications and adds costs.

  8. Might I suggest a free market in education not supported by government, not administered by government.

  9. What will happen to house prices in the UK after lockdown? – Telegraph

    Knew we’d get to the important news, eventually.

  10. @Ed P,

    Also, if you buy anything, the ‘centre’ reclaims the VAT on it! Also, the number of academics overall may have gone up, but that’s due to the departments of such twaddle as ‘Modern Dance’, ‘Sports Science’*, ‘Womens’ Studies and the rest. I know of an engineering department where the academic staff numbers shrank from 20 to 12 while the student numbers rose from 150 to 500 plus.

    *At least there are jobs for personal trainers.

  11. What the idiot means is that the jobs are redundant. Not the people. People are adaptable. The idiot if laid off ‘cos his job is redundant can easily do something else, useful. Like road sweeping. Or picking asparagus.

  12. Excavator Man said:
    “Also, don’t forget that big chunks of research grants go to the bureaucracy in a university as ‘overheads’ – sometimes a 40% surcharge on what it costs to employ those research staff etc.”

    That’s modest. I don’t know what it is now, but my lot were taking 40% of the grant (i.e. a 67% surcharge on the actual costs).

  13. “The idiot if laid off ‘cos his job is redundant can easily do something else, useful. Like road sweeping. Or picking asparagus.”

    I severely doubt that the Spud is capable of anything productive. He is entirely parasitic.

  14. The Meissen Bison

    It’s also important for cutting (picking??) asparagus to be able to bend in the middle and I rather doubt that he can.

  15. A gross injustice is being done to non-state workers and all our futures as the government closed and abandoned private sector

    – Defeatist Boris Johnson’s coronavirus exit strategy: Worst thing UK could do is ease up too soon
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzsA1Z7p7MA

    All except #5 met. Second peak inevitable when lockdown ended even if a vaccine developed – Flu peaks despite vaccine

    Absurd, Dystopian, Tyrannical’ Lockdown Must End Soon – Says Tory MP Steve Baker

    – UK lockdown is absurd, dystopian and tyrannical – Tory MP Steve Baker warns Boris Johnson
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gPuCVqvNak

    imo Must End This Week and should never have been done

    The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of the United Kingdom will begin reviewing every charge, conviction, and sentence that has been brought under emergency laws following reports that overzealous police have wrongfully charged people during the pandemic.

    Plod also ordered to stop posting their juvenile behaviour on Tik-Tok like idle NHS Docs & Nurses doing

  16. @ Brave Fart
    “Almost three times as many male as female experts featured…”
    Isn’t that because more men than women are dying of this dis-ease and so the men have to make sure their contributions to the sum of knowledge are made before the Grim Reaper calls?

  17. Pcar is correct. LD is a disaster.

    And NOW is the time to cull school/Uni leftists staff–among millions more unemployed no one is going to care about their whining.

    But BluLabour Johnson isn’t going to do it. Tories–wastes of space since 1834.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *