I have added a new category of posts to my blog. Anything obnoxious posted in this category is my opinionated opinion, and my opinion alone. It is unlikely to be that of my employers. Academic freedom is a privilege that I intend to enjoy, without slagging anyone off or losing my job.

I have returned to work after cancer treatment and an extended trek through the shadow of death, feeling a great love for life, for my institution, for students, a great love for colleagues and a fresh perspective on some of the nonsense that university lecturers seem to say, do, publish, teach and preach (shame on them). So this will be an alternative outlet for academics, like me, who think some things academics do or are required to do are daft.

In the UK, education is dominated by an oppressive educational establishment often driven by a political agenda. Its influence has spread from primary, through secondary and further education and is now having an impact on higher education. I have no doubt it is sometimes well intentioned, but its products are tables and charts, statistics, measurements, standards and ultimately rules which can reduce the role of the teacher or lecturer to that of an automaton applying an algorithm. In my view, those of us in education, who still have a voice, should speak out against this trend toward bureaucratic bullying. This is my offering. Besides, public venting makes me feel better, fresher and a more enthusiastic teacher.

I cannot guarantee I will write anything original or witty…. and I shall protect those I love by making stuff up sometimes. So don’t believe a word.

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