It is well known that most of the UK’s 106 universities have been dumbing down for years. In a recent survey 48% of university academics believed students were ill prepared for university study, 34% thought that students were intellectually less able or less well prepared than they were in the past and 45% believed assessment standards were slipping.
Dumb students are of course not the norm but if you are saddling yourself with £50K of debt while taking a degree in media studies at the University of Scunthorpe or urban dance at Peckham University you probably are. Even at good universities you can find plenty of dumb students.
Here is a very recent but subsequently deleted tweet from Fatima Abid the General Secretary of Manchester’s Student Union (SU).
today, as a team, we removed an imperialist’s work from the walls of our union and replaced them with words of the maya angelou – god knows black and brown voices have been written out of history enough, and it’s time we try to reverse that, at the very least in our union
Of course, Rudyard Kipling was an imperialist, as indeed were many of his generation. He was also much more than that as anyone who has read his work and knows something of his life and times will tell you.
A more garbled version of this asinine act appears on another students Facebook page. Sara Khan who is liberation and access officer (I kid you not!) in the Students Union.
A failure to consult students during the process of adding art to the newly renovated SU building resulted in Rudyard Kipling’s work being painted on the first floor last week. We, as an exec team, believe that Kipling stands for the opposite of liberation, empowerment, and human rights – the things that we, as an SU, stand for. Well-known as author of the racist poem “The White Man’s Burden”, and a plethora of other work that sought to legitimate the British Empire’s presence in India and de-humanise people of colour, it is deeply inappropriate to promote the work of Kipling in our SU, which is named after prominent South African anti-Apartheid activist, Steve Biko. As a statement on the reclamation of history by those who have been oppressed by the likes of Kipling for so many centuries, and continue to be to this day, we replaced his words with those of the legendary Maya Angelou, a black female poet and civil rights activist.
These intellectually challenged clowns obviously can’t differentiate the message from the messenger and prefer burning to learning. Replacing an inspirational poem like Rudyard Kipling’s “If” with a load of crap confirms just how stupid these people really are. Maya Angelou may have been a great activist, but she was a terrible poet.