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Poppleton University

Poppleton University (founded ca. 1979[1]) is a fictional British university in the column that Laurie Taylor writes for Times Higher Education.[2] Poppleton has also been used as the name of an example university by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in official documentation.[3]



Poppleton University is supposedly named after the real villages Nether Poppleton and Upper Poppleton near York, in Yorkshire, England. Laurie Taylor taught for many years at the University of York.


Poppleton[1] as described by Taylor, was formerly a polytechnic. When the government abolished polytechnics in the 1990s, Taylor modified his fictional creation by telling of how Poppleton applied for and was eventually awarded university status with power to award its own degrees. Elsewhere we learn that the university was once called the "Poppleton Institute for Joined-Up Writing" (suggesting a very lowly origin) though at other times Poppleton seems to be a collegiate university in the model of Oxbridge.

In Taylor's work there is also sometimes reference to a nearby institution of lower status, City University, Poppleton. The University of Uttoxeter is another fictional institution to which reference is made.


Regular characters feature in the satirical column. They include:


Our Vice-Chancellor has reacted angrily to the revelation in The Sunday Times that John Denham, the Universities Secretary, is about to ask former polytechnics to revert to their previous role rather than continue with their attempt to "ape leading academic institutions". "This would be a dangerously retrograde step," he told a hastily convened press conference. "Is the minister seriously suggesting that this great university should go back to the bad old days when we were merely Poppleton Polytechnic? Back to the bad old days when there was an inadequate library, hopelessly dilapidated buildings, low-morale staff and little or no funded research? Back to the bad old days when our present SCRs were only staff rooms? Back to the days of grubby degrees in plumbing rather than our pioneering new degrees in Aromatherapy and Surfing Studies? Back to the days when we lacked our present heraldic logo, when there was no Latin used in our degree ceremonies"

...and although this is a fictional account there are real examples of use by government and academics.[5]

See also


External links

Categories: 1979 establishments in the United Kingdom | Fictional universities and colleges | Universities and colleges in England | British humour

Information as of: 14.06.2020 07:55:21 CEST

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