University Of Beestonia

The spires at the University of Beestonia are dreaming; and the dreams are nightmares…

OK, so that’s over-egging it a little bit, but it’s probably fair to say no one’s sleeping particularly soundly, there’s something out there causing a fair degree* of restlessness.

Our brightest and best minds are searching for the cause of this unease, but if you read around there’s much being written about the battle for the soul of our universities at the moment.

T’internet (2017) defines the prefixes super- and para- as something beyond, or apart from, amongst other possible meanings, so when we add these to words like natural or normal what are we discussing?

During my time working in universities I’m not sure that a natural or normal state of things has actually ever existed, so defining what is beyond those is also a little tricky. Time does not stand still, things do change, some we can influence and some we can not, but, and before I turn completely into Baz Luhrmann talking about sunscreen, recently those changes are pushing – probably wrong tense – have pushed universities into a place where logic does appear, at least at times, otherworldly.

When is the tipping point between para- and new-, is it definable?

In our new normal, and that’s a strange term too, given this issue’s focus on the para-normal, and I’ll come back to my point, but if para-normal is some kind of inexplicable parallel type of universe, how long do conditions have to change for before they become the new normal? When is the tipping point between para- and new-, is it definable? I’d be interested to know if anyone’s worked on this…

Back to a point, in our new normal we are too often torn between which policy we are meant to drive for, student fees have been increased again recently in our current, to me at least bizarre, political reality, our democratic system means we will leave the group of nations which provide a substantial amount of our research funding… the list goes on.

Whether these things are normal, or beyond it, I’m not sure but in the mean time mind the seagulls and sleep well my friends…

Prof J

*oh look, unintentional HE pun (Lord B would be proud, or horrified…)

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