Bloody late lecturers
This caught my eye recently. Earlier this year students in Manchester set up a hotline to contact if lecturers were more than 10 minutes late.
This is a text service provided by the students’ union at Manchester Metropolitan University that allows disgruntled students to snitch on lecturers. President of the university’s students’ union, Nicola Lee, said, “I don’t think its disrespectful for them to say that their lecturer is late, it will just improve relations.”
How will this improve relations? Students already have a number of ways in which to make representations about the quality of their education. Complaining about individual lecturers by text message is nothing short of Orwellian.
The university’s deputy vice-chancellor Kevin Bonnet let the proverbial cat out of the bag when he said, “Students have a voice and it is worth remembering they are adults and that they have the right to speak up. I am resistant to the idea that students are consumers but their families are paying a lot of money.” Kevin Bonnet may be ‘resistant’ to it but students increasingly think of themselves as consumers and the consequences for student/tutor relations, I suspect, will be dire.
I don’t doubt that there are lecturers who are habitually late for lessons, or that have a laissez-faire approach to their work generally. But they’re a minority and the consequences of legislating for this small group of shysters is that you further alienate and harass a profession that is already depressed and stressed.