Archive for August 25, 2011

A PC Joke

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 25, 2011 by telescoper

An Englishman, a Scotsman, an Irishman, a Welshman, a Ghurkha, a Latvian, a Turk, an Aussie, two Kiwis, a German, an American, an Egyptian, a Japanese, a Mexican, a Spaniard, a Russian, a Pole, a Lithuanian, a Swede, a Finn, an Israeli, a Dane, a Romanian, a Bulgarian, a Serb, a Swiss, a Greek, a Singaporean, an Italian, a Norwegian, a Libyan, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist and an Ethiopian went to a night club.

The bouncer said, “Sorry, I can’t let you in without a Thai.”

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A Healthy Increase

Posted in Education with tags , , , on August 25, 2011 by telescoper

Up early again this morning, I thought I’d do a quick post because I just remembered that there’s a bit of a loose end I’ve left dangling for a week or so owing to my recent indisposition.

I posted about 10 days ago about my week as “responsible person” for the School of Physics & Astronomy at Cardiff University owing to the absence of all the really responsible people on their respective vacations. By sheer coincidence my week in charge spanned the day that A-level results were announced and therefore the period during which we finalised this year’s UCAS admissions process. I had thought this might be quite a stressful time because rather late in the day we were given a significant increase in funded student numbers by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) which made it necessary for us to enter the clearing system to find the extra students.

As it turned out however the prospective students to whom we’d made offers paid back our confidence in them and a large fraction got the necessary grades. We did go into clearing, but only briefly, to pick up a relatively small number of unattached applicants who matched our criteria. I’m happy to report, therefore, that we’ve got a very healthy intake of 120 students this year, up by about 30 on last year. That’s exactly the increase we had planned for and we can cope with it without making drastic changes, such as increasing the size of tutorial groups, that would remove the personal touch that makes this such a pleasant School to work and, I hope, study in.

The hard work done all year round by admissions teams in University departments tends to be drastically undervalued, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Carole Tucker for doing such a great job for the School of Physics & Astronomy, ably supported by Nicola Hunt. Where we’d be without them I don’t know.

Modesty forbids me, of course, from pointing out who was acting Head of School while this all came to fruition, and who therefore really deserves the credit….