For probably the first time ever, I find myself agreeing with John Sutherland, the Guardian's resident left-wing academic. He's talking about the possibility of opening British universities to the over-50s. And for once he sounds both crabby and sensible:

The current issue of London Student ("The Voice of 100,000 Students") has a spiteful little article illustrated with a photograph of what looks like Camilla's grandmother and the headline Is This the Student of the Future? There is some puppyish jesting as to how London's institutions should be renamed. The School of Pharmacy, for example, might become the School of Infirmacy; Senate House might be renamed Senile House. Cruel.

It's not just a crabbed age-and-youth thing. For the young, who currently own the campus, any competition from their elders and betters is a dismaying prospect. They are right to be apprehensive... Oldies would dominate the classroom. Who would the history teacher rather have in a seminar? A student who has been reading the Guardian for 30 years? Or a student who has just cancelled their subscription to the Beano, is moving on to NME, and has a photo of Charlie, formerly of Busted, over their bed? Lower testoterone and no PMT (let alone STD, LSD or MDMA) means less distraction: more and better BAs, MAs and PhDs

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/02/age-concern-for-probably-first-time.html|||2/21/2005 09:33:00 am|||||||||