Korean controversy posturing

Emerging from a spot of lurgi so maybe just a  postette.

I just watched the controversial Korean undercover documentary. Given the fuss, I was surprised to see there was no mention of students whatsoever. They just said they were on a tour. If the LSE hadn’t made a fuss, no-one would have had any idea that students were involved. Now … it may or not be that the film makers dealt fairly or safely with the students. Thats between the BBC and the students concerned. How has it got anything to do with the LSE? As far as I have been able to tell, it wasn’t an official LSE trip, an LSE-organised trip, or an LSE-branded trip. They just happened to be students from an LSE student society. The LSE do not own these students. They are adults. As said very nicely in this piece by Robin Lustig it just sounds like “nobody told us” harrumphing.

But depressingly, Universities UK and even the Royal Society are  taking a line supporting the LSE, saying that it threatens the ability of UK universities to be trusted abroad. Pardon my French, but absolute bollocks. Pompous posturing. And also quite shocking to be blustering about such a thing when the people of Korea are starving and its leaders may launch an international war.

Again, let me stress that I cannot tell whether the BBC was sensible in their dealings with students – I think they probably were, but the public evidence so far is contradictory. But it has nothing to do with UK Universities in a corporate sense or the Royal Society.

How depressing.

7 Responses to Korean controversy posturing

  1. As I wrote over at the Curious Astronomer, at least at some universities in the UK students live in colleges. In the States, at some places (at least unmarried—but that’s a curious exception) students are required to live on campus. In Germany, although a few students live in university-owned dormitories (though there is no social life associated with these), most live off campus in a normal flat. In other words, this story about Korea seems to me like another aspect of the fact that in the UK students at university are less adults and more young children away at a summer camp with a nanny to make sure they don’t do anything their mums wouldn’t do (or, maybe, to make sure they don’t do anything their mums have done).

  2. Barato says:

    In Spain, the students usually live off campus. There are some exceptions but the overwhelming majority prefer to do so.

  3. telescoper says:

    We have a group of students here at Sussex who would apparently need very little persuasion to travel to North Korea and occupy it.

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    Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

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