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Delivering A Stress-Free Future

Today's Sydling St Nicholas Sun leads with a report on the wave of unhappiness sweeping the Afpuddle campus "like a Chinese virus"

A snap inspection of the University of Afpuddle by DHEFC [the Dorset Higher Education Dundung Council] has resulted in a highly critical report which accuses the University of elitism and a failure fully to water-down its teaching in order to make the courses it currently offers universally accessible to all students. The report suggests that a continuing insistence on occasional attendance at socially- intrusive classes together with some form of written assessment at some stage in the three-year degree programme is deterring applications from the less able and is making courses intimidating and unwelcoming to those who can barely sign their name. The Report also questions the University's commitment to its own mission statement which speaks of "an intelligence-blind admissions system and an educational programme available to all irrespective of ability", whilst it is understood that it also criticises the University's failure to provide "safe spaces" in which students can be certain they will not be academically challenged.

Students from the "No Platforms Except At Railway Stations" Movement spell out their demands at an Afpuddle rally last summer. The University, they say, has gone nowhere near as far as it should in closing down all lecture theatres and laboratories.

An unnamed University lecturer and spokesperson for SIDE [Standards in Dorset Education] - the right-wing Bettiscombe-based pressure group which argues, controversially, that students in Higher Education should be able to read and write, denounced the report saying "I know it's old fashioned, out of step and probably a hangable offence, but I think being able to hold a pen or pencil and putting something other than x where a signature is required should be the minimum matriculation requirement". We understand that, following a disciplinary inquiry, Dr Didact is no longer in post; accused amongst other "crimes" of using a five-syllable word ["matriculation"].

Just some of the protesting students carrying banners thoughtfully written for them by their better-educated parents.

Speaking on behalf of the University, a grim-faced but emollient Vice-Chancellor, Grantham Capricorn, said he believed that the institution had travelled a long way down the path towards valueless degrees but conceded that it could yet go further. "I accept that we still have some residual curriculum content and that this may be off-putting to the most cranially-disadvantaged of our students, but we are in a state of constant vigilance and self-monitoring and committed to removing anything which might be unacceptably challenging and which might lead some students to question their place in the institution. Stress is the enemy of course completion and we aim for 100% of our entrants to complete their fee payments plan and graduate with a stress-free First Class Degree. We have introduced lecture-, seminar- and reading-free courses, removed essay writing as a requirement and closed several libraries [converting them into safe spaces where anything remotely academic is strictly verboten, sorry, forbidden] and we are open to further suggestions. I am today announcing the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation style Committee of Inquiry the aim of which is to critically examine our past failures, root out any continuing discriminatory practices [aka marking and grading] and hang-out to dry anyone who still thinks teaching has a future within our institution. Believe me when I assure you: PowerPoint presentations will burn and heads will roll".

Whether this will be enough to satisfy the student body, DHEFC and/or the rank and file members of the Faculty of Politics, Social Studies and Beauty Therapy remains to be seen.

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