Yesterday's news that university funding was being slashed by another billion, and research money being restricted to 'world-class' centres only was a massive kick in the teeth for institutions like mine which are trying hard to do original research, while providing a ladder for students via good teaching.
The coup de grâce was last night's BBC2 programme, Who Get The Best Jobs?, which actually used The Hegemon as a case study of the kind of university employers won't consider when looking through application forms - the back of my head can even be glimpsed in a shot taken at a graduation ceremony. They talk to several of my former students too (start around 48 minutes).
I really resent what's been done to education. There used to be universities and polytechnics. Universities did the 'classic' subjects and pumped out research, and polytechnics did some of those, plus all the more vocational ones, concentrating on teaching. The Hegemon, for instance, used to offer degrees in 13 languages, and was the country's first choice for linguistically-minded students. Then all HE institutions became universities and we were forced to compete on a supposedly level playing field, despite not having the billions, the land, the rich donors, the research background, the centuries of experience, the influence, the networks etc. etc. etc.
Now we're being punished for not having caught up. But being held up on TV as The Kind Of University You Should Avoid If You Ever Want A Job is horrifying: especially as it's so arbitrary - our degrees are genuinely good.