On the naughty step - conduct that deserves a ticking off

23rd August 2013 at 01:00

This week: desperate universities

Desperate times call for desperate measures, but sending a "balloon- assisted spacecraft" nearly 38km into the upper atmosphere? There have got to be easier ways of getting a marketing message across.

Although we at TES are strong supporters of higher education, we feel compelled to put desperate university marketing on the naughty step. First there were the universities said to be targeting parents by plugging themselves on parenting website Mumsnet (we all know who really decides where teenagers go to university).

Then there was the news that top universities in England are even offering financial bribes, iPods and laptops to coax students who have performed better than expected into their leafy quads. (Unsurprisingly, no such unseemly scramble appears to be taking place in Scotland, where tuition remains free for the Scots.)

And consider the University of Sheffield, a Russell Group institution with an excellent reputation, which really took the biscuit by launching a balloon-assisted spacecraft encouraging students with better grades than expected to set their sights "higher" (geddit?). A press release from Sheffield said that after its voyage, the balloon deflated and the craft was parachuted into the Pennines.

Of course, this greedy rush for high-performing students can be traced back to money and the government lifting the cap on how many high-performers universities can recruit. But was it really supposed to open up a new space race?

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now