To Dundee by bus

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

Do you know how long it takes to get to Dundee by bus from St Andrews?  Or when that university's biodiversity strategy was approved?  No?  Then woe betide you if you hope to get a degree from that august institution.  These are a couple of the questions that new students are set in compulsory modules on sustainability, diversity, consent and good academic practice.  What bus journeys have to do with any on this beats me, but there it is.

Happily both questions have easily found answers which are unequivocally correct – although the first requires a trust in the reliability of bus journeys that most passengers will not likely share.

Less easy to compute you might think, however, are answers to questions such as this: Is acknowledging your personal guilt a useful start point in overcoming unconscious bias?   Tricky, perhaps as the question is wholly devoid of context.  Don't worry though as it's easy to get right because the answer is always "yes" as students will surely quickly come to know, especially as it seems that you have to say "yes" to have the best chance of getting your degree, as too many wrong answers mean you fail the module and must retake it until thyouey do – a bit like EU referendums.

Other questions you have to get right are: Does equality mean treating everyone the same? and"Is it important to think about and understand our own prejudices and stereotypes so we don’t treat someone else unfairly or inappropriately?  Here, as you surely know, the correct answers are "no" and "yes".

In the heyday of the Soviet Empire no matter how good you were at, say, maths, if you did not pass the Marxist-Leninist Theory exam, you didn't get a degree.

And there was me thinking that the forces of the Enlightenment had won the battle for ideas that we knew as the cold war.  The lesson I draw from this is to get that bus to Dundee and stay there.




Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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