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5:39pm on Wednesday, 23rd March, 2011:
Yesterday, Essex University joined the ranks of those educational establishments planning to charge next year's students £9,000 a year for their education. It was reported reasonably accurately in most newspapers, but here's how the Daily Mail headlined it:
Even Essex will charge £9,000 university fees as growing ranks of institutions set top rates
It's that snide use of the word "even" that shows this not to be a news piece but an anti-Essex dig.
The article continues:
At 41st in the country, it is the lowest ranked university to announce it will charge full fees after former polytechnic Surrey, which was ranked 32nd in the Times Good University Guide.
Hmm, but as the Telegraph points out, the Times Higher Education magazine puts us at 248th in the world, with Surrey at 302nd. We rank 9th in the UK for research. Surrey won't be too pleased by the reference to their status as a former polytechnic, either: they were Battersea Polytechnic Institute between the years 1891 and 1956, but received their university charter in 1965 (like Essex). It's not one of the polytechnics that were made into universities by the wave of a government pen in 1992 (which don't have charters, perhaps explaining why the Daily Mail is by trying to use the term "former polytechnic" pejoritively).
Oh well. I don't suppose we were going to get many Daily Mail readers coming to Essex anyway.
"Even Essex" ... bah!
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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (firstname.lastname@example.org).