BPP shuts dental course as regulator raises safety concerns – Laurie Taylor’s take.

Students on course forced to find alternative programmes, as government plans to open English sector further to new providers.

First, the truth:

BPP University has shut a dentistry course after it failed to meet General Dental Council standards, leaving new students unable to start and existing undergraduates facing an uncertain future.

Events at BPP, which is owned by a for-profit private equity group, come as the government prepares to open the English sector further to new providers by allowing them to award degrees from the start of their operations on a probationary basis. Critics warn that if new providers subsequently fail, or do not gain full degree-awarding powers, it could mean more students being left unable to complete their courses.

The mess we’re in – full storyvia THE

and now: The Spoof

Laurie Taylor’s take – 12 October 2017

Pull the other one!

“One only hopes it doesn’t prompt an outbreak of bad dentistry jokes.”

That was the reaction of Poppleton’s own Head of Dentistry, Professor Phil McCavity, to the news that BPP University, which is owned by a for-profit private equity group, had shut down a dentistry course after it failed to meet General Dental Council standards.

Professor McCavity told ThePoppletonian that he had already encountered one report of the closure that was headlined “Painful cavity as BPP pulls course”.

Such glib recourse to puns threatened to obscure the emotional issues raised by the closure. “It’s important to remember”, said Professor McCavity, “that dentists also have fillings.”

He hoped that the BPP tutors would not feel too down in the mouth about the closure and would brace themselves for the challenges that lay ahead.

A spokesperson for BPP said that he was “bewildered” by the sudden closure. “As a for-profit provider, we’ve been happily making successful extractions from public funds for many years.”

(On other pages: Buddhism and Dentistry: how a belief in a higher power might allow one to transcend dental medication.)

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The Incisal Edge Podcast – Public Relations for Dentists with Chris Baker

In their second conversation in the pod, Alun and Chris Baker from Corona Design & Communications talk about the best way to use local Public Relations to promote your Dental Practice.

 

The Incisal Edge Podcast – Email marketing for dentists with Chris Baker.

In the first of a series of Podcast conversations about PR and Marketing for Dentists, Alun is joined by Chris Baker from Corona Design and Communications.

Their first topic is Email marketing.

Word of the day – Mediocracy & a video to match….

MEANING: noun: Rule by the mediocre.

ETYMOLOGY: A blend of mediocre + -ocracy (rule). Earliest documented use: 1845.

USAGE: “Why are gifted individuals always forced out by the mediocracy?” Christopher Fowler; The Victoria Vanishes; Bantam; 2008.

IDEAS: 

(I notice that comments are now disabled for the video, a shame because I would like to see if there was anybody who had anything positive to say.)

It reminds me of this:

The new reformation or just a course adjustment?

The university must be the site of the next Reformation – here’s why.

“Nevertheless, both students and their potential employers are led to believe that academic credentials confer on students that what they have learned at university constitutes knowledge that is more durable than it really is. And all of this is made possible simply because self-certifying “knowledgeable” people – in other words, academics – have said so…”

.”..The financial interest of academics in continuing to promote this idea – from the beleaguered lecturer to the over-remunerated vice chancellor – should be obvious. Perhaps only slightly less obvious is why students continue to believe it.”

This piece from “The Conversation” made me wonder (even more) about the role of universities now and in the future. Referring to universities as businesses and education as an industry as has happened over the past couple of decades has made me question the fundamentals of the need for universities in general and in particular in what I know best.

Should they be a “right of passage” or an extension of school or just a way of increasing the indebtedness of the individual and the country as a whole? Is the whole thing with massively expanding campuses, huge competition for students and vice-chancellors being feted with large salaries just an edifice waiting to implode? Has the expansion really improved the education of our young people or is it a way of moving them from 18 to 21 to keep them out of unemployment?

Only some of this is covered in Steve Fuller’s piece but it’s worth a read.

 

Education, education, education or have I missed the point?

From The Times via BDA, the words of another one of those Johnson boys.

Universities urged to make more money from research

Universities are to be measured on how well they work with business, collaborate on research and development and sell their intellectual property. Jo Johnson, the universities minister, will say today that a “knowledge exchange framework” will be developed to analyse how good a job universities do at putting their research to commercial use. In Britain, more research takes place in universities than in comparable countries, at 26 per cent compared with 17 per cent in Germany and 13 per cent in the US. British university revenues from engagement with businesses are growing slowly, at only 1 per cent a year. American universities earn almost 40 per cent more from intellectual property licences as a percentage of their overall research resources than those in the UK. The University of Queensland in Australia earns more than any Russell Group university from this source. The Higher Education Innovation Fund, which helps universities to sell their intellectual property, is to be given £40 million by the government, taking it to £200 million in 2018-19.

No doubt there will be “World Class” hyperbole/BS that goes along with this. Remind me what is the primary function of a university?

Should you lie in the sun?

I periodically share information gleaned from a well know dermatologist.

This time there’s also a video where, to celebrate an auspicious birthday, my little brother shows the results of his experiments in cloning.

It is well worth a watch, or two.

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