The headline news is that if you're off to NCHumz to study history, what you'll get for your £18k is a course directed by someone - a senior lecturer indeed - less than three years out of her PhD and with medieval history taught by an 'expert' less than a year out of his. Plus some piece-rate hired hands I shouldn't wonder. Not forgetting the occasional walk-on part by someone you've seen on the TV or heard on the radio (but who, strictly entre nous, isn't actually regarded as that good, except in their own estimation). Their most (allegedly) stellar appointment has a publications list of a book and a half dozen articles. For half that price you could go any number of places (not least the University of Poppleton) and be taught by a whole string of people considerably more established and more internationally renowned (and probably, well, just better) than any of this gaggle. But, fair's fair, they do do a lot of broadcasting, so when you're back home at the old ancestral pile, after 'Hilary Term' (or whatthefuckever) you will be able to point them out on the telly to mater and pater.
You'll see on the NCHumz history site, by the way, a lot of references to how their brilliant young stars 'took' double firsts at St Fithfroths. Now, if like me you're a jolly old oik, you might not know what that means. Sounds good though, no? Actually it just means they got a first in their 2nd-year exams as well as their finals. It's just that the rest of us who do that aren't allowed to call their degree a double first (any more than we're allowed to pay a fiver and have our BAs 'promoted' to MAs). I got a first in my second-year exams and I took a joint honours (archaeology-history) degree so, if we were, I guess that'd be a quadruple first, right?
Ah but alas and alack. The senior lecturer and course-convenor (aet.?30/31) has taken to the Twittersphere to accuse me and Voley of being bigots. Apparently we're morons too, who don't know about real research. Oh well, that's the professional way, I guess.
So in the meantime let me leave the last word to the Vole, who puts things better than I:
So to be clear: The New College of the Humanities is a reactionary, outdated, private-equity funded bastion of snobbery and washed-up academic approaches with TV stars on the banners and underpaid toilers in the class rooms. It is a finishing school for rich people who want their world-views reinforced rather than challenged. It deliberately excludes the knowledge-hungry poor and its imminent failure is going to be very satisfying indeed.
Oh - and it's considerably less than straight about its financial basis too.