An acronym too far

24th February 1995 at 00:00
When the financial vice-principal started calling students "units of funding", I decided things had gone too far. After all, while I accept that people with a limited vocabulary feel more secure with jargon, the adoption of UOFs was beyond a joke.

"Each unit of funding represents Pounds 2,500," he droned, "and 1,000 UOFs realise Pounds 2.5 million in income." The meeting to discuss achievable targets (ATs) had hit a new low.

Of course, it's all part of the incorporated college's love affair with cosmetic surgery. Make the publicity believable and reality can be replaced with marketing. For instance, take LAs - learning agreements, to the uninformed. Make your UOFs sign away their rights, take their money and when the course fails to run, bank the cash and refuse refunds.

Meanwhile, back at the FVP's table, the world dances to the drum of centralised funding where assets are realised and no one actually meets a UOF. Imagine the future. The FVP is summoned to the VP's office. "Tell me John, " he muses, "have you ever seen a UOF?" "Well VPI" he mumbles, "I can't say I have."

"That's all right then."

The student-less future. Now, that's progress!

Joe Bilby is a FE lecturer in Hampshire.

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