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INKYTEXT 348 Part II
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NO MORE ADVERTISEMENTS PLEASE
Issue No 348b Wednesday 12th April 2000
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Editorial correspondence should be sent to InkyText@lancaster.ac.uk
Subscription requests to Inkytextfirstname.lastname@example.org
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PART II FOLLOWS AND INCLUDES
4. Virtual universities and the E-revolution
5. Alumni in the Media
6. Readers' Letters: Petition, Regrets and thanks, Hetton and Malcolm Gluck.
7. Small Ads: Secretarial Services, Grizedale Social Secretary;
Viennese exchange; Plant Sale; Garden flat to let; Lift wanted; Two bikes;
Accommodation wanted; Tape transcription, Translation business, Leather
topped desk and chair, Turkish Speaker wanted, Natural Health Care Course.
4. VIRTUAL UNIVERSITIES AND THE E-REVOLUTION
At times you despair of British governement initiatives and especially
of HEFCE. They launch competittive projects for inqadequate funds and
bluster about being in the forefront of this or that. Meanwhile
Americans have quietly been getting on with the same thing for years.
About 55% of American universities offer one kind or another of
distance diplomas. Source: Geteducated. What's that you ask?
"Geteducated" ("Adult education & distance learner's resource center"
was created by the private company "Lifelong Learning" See:
These sites should perhaps convince you that independently of all the
current furore about pilot projects and artificial consortia, distance
education is already very widespread. It always was: witness the
longevity of newspaper ads for correspondence courses in journalism or
writing leading to dubious credentials. Proof at least that there was a
niche market for them.
What has changed is interactive computing. At one not very exciting
level, of course, this is merely a substitute for radio, TV and the
postal services. Where the product being sold is inert it allows both
advertising, payment and delivery to take place immediately and via
the same medium.
In this respect certain commercial activities are clearly more
advantaged than others. You can get your pornography or your learning
module materials delivered online immediately. Your wines and flowers
for the moment take a little longer and rely on other carriers. (It is
a matter of regret that the digital nose/palate and wine-synthesizer
plug-in long called for by this journal appear so far to have defeated
The parallels between pornography and education are a topic on which I
have long promised to entertain readers. Pity I never got round to it
for these parallels grow more profound and numerous by the day. Indeed
the major difference is that pornography provides instant
gratification, or not, whereas it usually takes a considerable while
for one to decide whether a course one finds difficult is worthwhile.
It goes without saying that successful pornography sites, the fastest
growth area of all, are prolly infinitely more professional, and indeed
educational, than all the distance-learning sites yet come across.
The challenge where learning is concerned consists of going beyond
this. It is here that imagination is still required.
The Quebec site "Branchez-vous" will give you a list of them.
Have a look also at the OU's Institute for Distance Learning Site
(http://www-icdl.open.ac.uk/icdl/instcou.htm). Wow. Their database of
active institutions is already vast (but does not yet appear to include
As for the "Benjamin Franklin Institute of Global Education".... It
calims to offer "Distance education: over 30,000 courses from more than
1000 accredited institutions worldwide" (http://www.bfranklin.edu/de.html)
Platforms and consortia already abound. In Europe there is EuroPace :
http://www.europace.be/ and http://educate.lib.chalmers.se/
The Swiss ARIADNE project is actually more exciting
An introduction to virtual universities can be found at
Books to help students choose their distance learning courses are at
In France the CNED (Centre national d'enseignement à distance) created
a "Campus Electronique". This is the rudiments of a virtual francophone
university and can be found at: http://www.campus-electronique.tm.fr/
In the US California virtual university http://www.california.edu/
and Stanford on line http://stanford-online.stanford.edu/ Stanford
awards an distance MBA.
At Dallas you can do an MBA too:
(http://www.utdallas.edu/dept/mgmt/mims/mims.html) while the "Columbia
Video Network" (http://www.cvn.columbia.edu/) created as long ago as
1986 lets you follow 9 different engineering diplomas by distance
learning at the Graduate School of Engineering and get the SAME
diplomas as those who are there full-time.
Engineering Outlook (U.of Idaho) also gives 9 engineering degrees by video.
The National Technical University (http://www.ntu.edu/) is a grouping
of fifty odd universities, including MIT and Berkeley. Its courses are
broadcast by TV on a private satellite network. This is a cooperative
efffort to provide the continuing education and training for the
employees of major businesses. NTU awards various Masters of science in
engineering. Member universities are linked by satellite and by
compressed digital video to more than 1000 workplace sites et 350 other
sites in the USA. In 96/97, NTU was already providing 500 courses for
110.000 enrolled students and offered 14 Masters programmes.
Another francophone virtual uni ican be found at
(http://www.aupelf-uref.org/UVF/accueil.htm) and the Virtual
University of the Asia Pacific can be found at
And have a look at the word ANDRAGOGIE (a French term I'd previously
never come across.)
5. ALUMNI IN MEDIA
Kettners Bar in Soho was the venue for a recent Alumni networking
event which drew a big number of Lancaster graduates, recent and not
so. It was hosted by Prof Richard Wilson, and the Press Officer, Alumni
Officer and Rebecca Leam also attended. (And if you've not been reading
the news items on the Alumni pages written by Rebecca for the
Consultancy MA in Independent Studies - DO!)
Those present included:
Phil Allison (VISUAL ARTS 97) Tate Magazine;
Rupert William Allman (POLITICS & I.R. 89) Assistant Editor BBC Radio
Lindsay Baker (POLITICS & I.R. 70) Broadcast Journalist / Freelance
with BBC networks;
Louis Barfe (POLITICS & I.R. 95) Staff Writer Publishing News;
Peter Cobley (LAW 93) Senior Account Executive Carlton On Line Ltd
(New Media) Media Marketing Sales;
Adam Cumiskey (CULTURE/COMMUNICATIONS 96) Group Head Executive Senior
Relations Assistant Purchaser (Television), McCann Advertising;
Stephen Farrar (HISTORY, 89) Science Editor, THES, The Times;
Paul Kelly (English 93) Senior Reporter, Wolverhampton Express & Star;
Linda Lewis (POLITICS & I.R. 75) Media Consultant;
Dr Kevin Chaolun Lin (ENGL-LINGUISTIC 90) Managing Director Shopaweb
Ltd (New technology);
Dhalmesh Mistry (FRENCH 99) Sub-Editor Dennis Publishing Ltd.
Simon George Francis Mann (MARKETING 89) Senior Producer, BBC 5 Live,
"Ian Payne" Programme;
Satnam Rana (FRENCH '99) Broadcast Assistant Radio Five Live
Benet Steinberg (POLITICS & I.R. 80) Director Chelgate Ltd (Reputation
Stephen Teal (HISTORY/ENGLISH 88) Director of Development
Damien Whitmore (English, '82) Communications Director ;
Sarah Williams (French '99) Chelgate Ltd (Reputation Management).
Others invited but unable to attend included:
Robin Andre Amlot (POLITICS & I.R. 80) Producer, SKY Business Report
Roger Ashton-Griffiths (MUSIC 78) Actor, writer and director
Mark Blewitt (GEOGRAPHY. 88) Marketing Manager, Tradewinds Worldwide
Les Butterfield (Marketing 75) Chairman, Partners BDDH (Advertising);
Tor Clark (History/Pol, 88) Editor, Harborough Mail/Lutterworth Mail;
Philippa Hanscombe (ENGLISH/PHILOSOPHY 87) Planning Assistant, News
and Programme Commissioning BBC World Service;
Miss Lisa Jenkinson (POLITICS & I.R. 90) Producer - Any Questions BBC
James May (MUSIC 85) Television Presenter;
David McMaster (ENGL-LITERATURE 79 84) Freelance Media Manager;
Mark Pearson (English, 94) Manchester United Television;
Tim Pemberton (Religious Studies '86) Producer, Religious Studies
Simon Peyton (EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH 89) News Editor The Surrey Mirror
Heather Purchase (MARKETING 86) Journalist (Freelance)/PR Consultant
Judith Smallwood (English, 79) PR Consultant;
Simon Quigley Production Assistant / researcher Carlton Broadcasting;
Stewart Vaughan (Philosophy/Théâtre Studies 1974) Sécrétaire Général
Théâtre de la Michodière Paris.
6. READERS' LETTERS
In support of the letter in the last issue about lighting on the
Lancaster-Caton footpath (I am adding my name to the petition against
the lighting) I would also like to draw readers' attention to the
proposal for a 'work of art' to be put somewhere in the countryside in
this area (possibly on that same path) The 'work of art' will consist
of several pine trees pulled up by their roots and put back in the
ground upside down! Look at last week's Citizen for the sarcastic and
other comments about this latest proposed act of sheer insanity.
Furthermore, if you are against light pollution, and care about Kendal,
read last week's Westmorland Gazette where there is another proposed
plan to 'brighten up' the Highgate end of town by moving (!!) a few
mature trees and putting lights in them!!! Why doesn't somebody tell
the unthinking people who set up these daft projects that animals and
birds NEED nature to be left as it is.
Birds can't sleep at night when trees are flooded with light. They
presumably can't sleep and live in the roots of trees, they would
rather sleep and live in the branches. Animals i.e. badgers would
probably prefer to live in the roots. We are already denuding the world
of areas of countryside and natural habitat to far too great an extent
already, resulting in the loss and reduction of far too many bird and
animal species. To do it in the name of art is utterly irresponsible. I
too will take names of people who are against the art project if anyone
wants to send me them.
PS What are we going to do without Inkytext!
Sorry to hear you are leaving Inkytext. We have enjoyed all the gossip
and information you have provided over the years. All the best for the
future. Before you go please can you publicise the following....
Are you *absolutely* adamant about giving it up? As I am sure you
realise, this is one of those relatively rare cases where the
individual is genuinely irreplaceable. I just cannot think of anyone
able to bring a comparable range of special personal qualities,
experience and technical expertise to bear on the job, let alone a
person who is also willing to do it! Of course, I can well understand
your reasons... but... is there no hope? Please, please, reconsider the
decision. You are needed! And everyone I have spoken to agrees with me.
Founding Professorial Subscriber.
[NOTE: Well, thank you, but I must disagree. I made a similar remark
to young Andrew Errington when he left for San Jose (San Diego?). He
sagely replied that any individual was like a knife in water: pull them
out and not a trace remains, nor any sign that they were there. If
Inkytext fulfils a function something else will appear to replace it.
Natura abhorret whotsit.
Indeed had Inkytext NOT existed, there might have been an irresistible
clamour for the kind of properly staffed and funded university
newspaper we deserve. The maverick and quirky efforts of Inkytext may
offer enhanced readibility and even credibility in a way that an
official publication can not. But a grown-up university requires its
Alastair Campbell. (Ed.)]
Although there's prolly an editorial I should have read in Inkytext
#179, I have to ask: whence "prolly"? Is this an acad'mic affec'tion,
or an attempt to improve the effic'y of the English language by
rem'ving red'dant syl'bles from unnesserly long words?
What are the rules of the techniq? Does it apply only to words with
many sylbles, or also to words with unnessercy letters? If a word has
more than three sylbles, should we remove all int'ate sylbles, alt'nate
int'med'ate ones, or just the middle one? Please advise.
Sadly, while striving for effic'y is laudable, and may reduce the
'varsity's cost base (paper and keystrokes), I suspect your approach
will be less 'cessfull than that of Lempel and Ziv (look it up!).
Textual compression a speciality!
[NOTE: Ah, yes Lempel and Ziv, data compression algorithms, a distance
beyond my mathematical comprehension. As you rightly surmise this
matter has been dealt with before. Indeed one reader suggested 'prolly'
is a kind of masonic sign whereby readers identify themselves to each
other. Another suggested Richmal Crompton (Just William) as a source,
but there's an apostrophe in that one. I picked it up chatting with
Americans on IRC. I understand it to be a naturally slurred spoken
form. Some associate it with the speech of Boston. Perhaps Prof Clayton
of Boston University could advise. (Ed).]
In the earliest issues of Inkytext, you listed in the "masthead" the
number of subscribers and the worldwide distribution of the issues. Could
you please do that again in one of the last issues for old times sake?
Hear hear (vide Nick Bardsley). Thank you for so much illumination and
entertainment. IMI: I'll Miss Inkytext.
Lynda Chetwood Burke
Sorry to hear you'll be leaving, you'll be sadly missed. Good luck in
all you do in the future.
BBC Education Digital Media
[NOTE: Thank you, but don't make it sound too dramatic, Mark. I'm not
"going" anywhere: that's prolly my reason for stopping. I'm redirecting
my energies. (Ed.)]
Thank you for all the work you've put into making InkyText a dynamic
and important medium of dialogue, action and participation, for a
community that definitely needs it. Good luck with what comes next, and
looking forward to future issues.
I want to tell you how much I have appreciated your worldly and daring
insights into the running of the University and the way you have shared
your enthusiasms and knowledge with readers. I also have thought
frequently and with a pang of how much you love writing and how good
you are at it. Lots of people will probably plead with you not to give
up Inkytext but I want to support your decision however much I'll miss
[NOTE: Why, thank you indeed. I fully intend that my voice should
continue to be heard, but in some other format or medium and possibly
on slightly different topics and by different audiences. (Ed)]
Terrible news to come back to (after a short stint playing guest prof.
at Venice university -- where I can recommend the students as well as
Of course I've always wondered how you managed to produce InkyText at
all -- unless you are one of those Thatcher-like beings (only in terms
of 4-hours-a-night sleep requirements of course!). But it still comes
as something of a shock to realise one of the Institutions of this
place might vanish.
Seriously, do you think, perhaps, there is less of an urgent need now
than there was 7 years ago? Is oppeness improved? I do in fact get the
impression at times that it has. But since you started it, the magazine
has taken on a life of its own and begun fulfilling all sorts of
functions that would be missed as well.
No, no: I'm not trying to talk you out of your decision: you've paid
more than your dues. I really do wonder if anyone else is going to have
the knack, and sufficiently mad, to take this on; I hope so, though.
The Angel at Hetton can also be reached from an earlier point on the
A65 - Gargrave, where you should turn left almost opposite a filling
station on the right. That road from Gargrave to Grassington runs right
past the door.
You should be advised, however, that its success ( i.e., the large
number of cars parked, driven and turning nearby) has caused
considerable inconvenience and heartache to the residents of Hetton, a
small village which is often swamped by the traffic. Perhaps your more
(than I am) environmentally conscious readers should consider this.
I also enclose a piece on 'brands' and wine snobs by Malcolm Gluck
which might interest you.
PS sorry to hear you're packing up; but I can sympathise with your
[NOTE: Malcolm Gluck, in defending brands, rightly makes the point
that "France" too is a brand and so is "Chateau Lafite". True, and
SOPEXA ("Food and Wine from France") spends money promoting them. They
are however also natural geographical categories and, unlike artificial
proprietary brands, can make no claim to consistency or uniformity.
Excess or inadequate Lafite can be sold as its second wine, or as a
Paulliac, or merely a Medoc. (Thereby lie bargains for insiders.)
Real wine snobs know that the year is the most important thing on the
label and in France (not so much California or Australia) matters even
more than the place. So 1945, 1970, 1979, 1982 etc are also "brands".
What people who market Blue Nun or Piat d'Or are offering is a kind of
assurance of consistency, a style, rather like you get with makes
In terms of appellation, blended wines are not even a "Vin de Pays".
They are "Vin de Table", one grade up from industrial vinegar. As for
Blue Nun, I think it is a Liebfraumilch, but some others are merely
I don't think we have actually met although I am an avid reader of
your e-zine! Are you married to a colleague of mine, one of my students
in Computing for the Terrified!
I have very much enjoyed reading your updates of university life. I
came to work at the University in 1998 in the Department of Continuing
Education and am now a full-time undergraduate student in Behaviour in
Organisations. I am still working part-time at the Adult college
It will be difficult to find someone to follow in your footsteps,
though I sincerely hope this is possible, as your news fills a void in
On the subject of food I can recommend the Wheatsheaf at Beetham for
an excellent lunch at a remarkable price - £9.95 for 3 courses. A walk
around the Fairy Steps first sets you up nicely for this!
7. SMALL ADS
MAY I HELP YOU
EFFICIENT SECRETARIAL SERVICES
Typing, Dissertations, Tape Transcripts, Letters, Proof reading
Also casual in-house secretarial cover
using latest computing packages
Competitive rates negotiable
Collection and delivery service
(Former departmental secretary and secretary to HoD in management school
recently early retired. Over 22 years Lancaster University secretarial
experience. Reference provided if necessary.)
Based 3/4 mile from Campus
Mrs Angela Bidle
Tel (O1524) 67977
WHY SHOULD STUDENTS HAVE ALL THE FUN? Now they don't have to - As YOU
can join Grizedale's team of College Officers and become our SCR Social
Secretary. Grizedale College is a large but very friendly College with
one of the largest numbers of Senior Members. We also have a budget for
SCR Social events. We are now seeking a Social Secretary to join us, to
help us have some fun too! To apply: Please write to: B. Glass,
Grizedale College. For further information e-mail:
email@example.com Ext. No. 92631. Deadline for applications is
Friday 5th May 2000 (Week 1). http://www.lancs.ac.uk/users/grizedale/
15/16-YEAR-OLD VIENNESE GIRL is looking to stay 2-3 weeks with an
English-speaking family this summer to help improve her English. Is
anyone interested in providing board and lodging (possibly plus a
little pocket money) in exchange for childcare help? Please contact
Allyson on 015395 61562 or A.Fiddler@lancaster.ac.uk
<mailto:A.Fiddler@lancaster.ac.uk> Another possibility would be if you
had a child of her age who might fancy some kind of exchange trip.
BIOLOGY FIELD STATION
WED 1Oth and THUR 11th MAY
12 NOON to 2PM
Bedding Plants, Herbs, House Plants
Please bring your own bags and boxes
THE NATIONAL TEACHING FELLOWSHIPS SCHEME is a new initiative under
HEFCE's Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund to 'recognise individuals of
the highest calibre in the areas of teaching and the facilitation of
learning in higher education'. These awards are being made for the
first time. Every university and some other institutions is being asked
to make one nomination by 19th May. Details can be found on the ILT
web site, http://www.ilt.ac.uk, under ''news and events'.
The awards are worth £50,000 to each winner, the money to be spent
within 3 years on a project to enhance or disseminate the work of the
Each nominee must demonstrate excellence (see a description of
criteria for this on the ILT web site) and also present an outline
project plan for how they will use the money. The submission is
strictly limited in size and scope. The teaching described may cover
undergraduate or postgraduate teaching but supervision of research
students is not eligible.
Selection will be made by a panel in the first instance on the basis
of teaching excellence, to reduce the nominations to a short-list of
40- 50, and then these will be considered and the 20 which propose the
best projects will be awarded the fellowships.
The fellowship money may be used in a variety of ways: to buy the time
of the fellowship holder, to purchase equipment, to employ project
staff, travel costs for the fellowship holder and project staff etc.
The ILT, which is administering the scheme in conjunction with an
advisory panel, has asked each institution to nominate one excellent
teacher by 19th May 2000.
Individuals who wish to put themselves forward for consideration by
the internal panel should make their submission, using the format
described in the NTFS documentation, except that where the national
scheme asks for a citation from the nominating institution there should
be a statement of similar substance (i.e. not exceeding 2 sides of A4)
from the head of department. People who are being proposed for
Pilkington awards may wish to use some of the same material for the
National Teaching Fellowship Scheme.
In the meantime submissions should be sent to Terry Wareham in the
Higher Education Development Centre, Lonsdale College by Monday 1st
ATTRACTIVE GARDEN FLAT (Fully self-contained) available from August.
Suit a couple, preferably staff or postgrads. Located in Centre of
Lancaster between the Railway Station and Waterstones Bookshop.
Comprises kitchen/diner, living room, double bedroom and toilet/shower
room. Furnished with all mod cons. including fridge, freezer, washing
machine, telephone, etc. Rent 375 pounds per month. Contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Lancaster 34580.
DO YOU HAPPEN TO BE DRIVING TO MANCHESTER AIRPORT ON SUNDAY 30 APRIL?
I have a flight to catch at 11.50 on that day, which would mean leaving
Lancaster around 8 a.m. Unfortunately, there are no trains going to the
airport early in the morning. Of course, I will happily share petrol
costs. If you can help, please contact Lia on (01524) 60113 (you can
leave a message and a contact number), or by e-mail:
TWO BICYCLES (GENTS AND LADIES) FOR SALE Have been unused for some
time, and are no longer needed as the owners have moved. Very cheap
(about 20 pounds for both), and must be seen (located very near
Lancaster centre). Please ring 60113 for arrangements.
FOR SALE: swish leather-topped desk with keyboard drawer and 'return'
extension (can be used at either left or right hand side) and matching
green leather revolving captain's chair [on castors for executive
arabesques]. Tel. 841169 or email@example.com
FOR SALE: Thinking of life after academe? Small, interesting
translation business about to be marketed. Be an early bird! (Purchase
or rent of city centre office optional.) Tel. 841169 or
TRANSCRIBING TAPES Experienced, efficient, confidential service. Ring
Cheryl Scott on:- 01524-770227 e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
ACCOMODATION WANTED FOR UNIVERSITY STAFF MEMBER in Lancaster or
surrounding area. Must have car parking. Contact: Wendy Beekes Tel:
01524 593623 Email: email@example.com
WANTED TURKISH SPEAKER for conversation practice in return for payment
or help with English. Please contact Karen on 34671.
LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF
Spend one lunchtime a week learning how to cope with stress and regaining
vitality. The Natural Health Care group operating from the Chaplaincy
Centr is offering a 10 week course that integrates a number of
complementary therapies: Atomatherapy, Massage, Reflexology, Shiatsu,
Homeopathy, Holistic massage.
We will start on Tuesday 9th May from 1.00 - 2.00 in the Anglican Flat
in the Chaplaincy Centre. Course fee 20 pounds.
Interested? Book now at counselling reception (92690) or for further
information ring Yvonne Fairclough on 01524 22282 or email
NO ISSUE NEXT WEEK: TAKING FATHER-IN-LAW TO PARIS FOR HIS 90TH BIRTHDAY.
NEXT TIME: THE PENULTIMATE ISSUE
MEMOIRS OF AN E-ZINE EDITOR
No more ads please