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By David Vance On February 25th, 2012

You really should have a read of this profile on Professor Les Ebdon. Who he, you ask?  Les is the new “Access Czar” for British Universities tasked, I kid you not, with ensuring that more “poor” students get into tertiary education. The Professor is vehemently against the acknowledged excellence of top-level universities and his appointment in this position came about by Lib-Dem strong-arming. Perhaps most telling is this cursory examination of the examinations that Professor Ebdon’s University of Bedfordshire  offers;

The courses on offer at his institution do not include traditional degree courses such as maths, physics, chemistry, history or modern languages.  Of course not, how un-necessary in such an enlightened age as this. 

Instead, there is a less-than-scholastic two-year course in carnival arts — teaching undergraduates how to design costumes and allowing them ‘to take part in Europe’s  largest one-day carnival: the Luton International Carnival’.  Then there is the degree in advertising, and in beauty spa management. Work experience ‘is gained from working in the college’s own salon’.

There is a specialist make-up design course on which students will be taught the wide range of skills required of the contemporary make-up artist.  Alongside practical work, they will ‘engage with the cultural significance of make-up in a society and discover the historic power of beauty products’.

In case those courses don’t ring your bell, there are courses on “Breast Feeding” and “Football studies”.

This is the academic background of the man who now has real power over all English Universities. Stunning!



  1. This morning I popped into Homebase, a fishmonger’s and a butcher’s, managing to achieve all three without some State parasite ensuring my access.

  2. Pete

    You didn’t use any roads or pavements then ?

  3. Paid for by me, built by private contractors, the State is just the inefficient middleman taking a mafia’s cut.

    Off to the pub soon to join my fellow stout yeomen in watching England’s rugby chaps crush the Taffs. Oh wait! I haven’t been facilitated by a government Pub Access Czar …

  4. Pete

    Just make sure you don’t shout any Taffophobic jokes – you will have some govt. official on your back then 😉

  5. Colm –

    There’ll be no Taffophobic comments from me about the leek-munchers, oh no.

  6. …and absolutely no commentary upon the Sheep-shaggers either!

  7. That’s good to hear – You can poke fun at the sheep-shaggers though 😉

  8. snap!

  9. From the link:

    Education Secretary Michael Gove is said privately to have described the Ebdon appointment as a ‘disaster’

    Gove is the Minister of Education. If he really didn’t want this “disaster”, then he (Ebdon) wouldn’t be there. It is deliberate.

    Another point is that now there is now grants system, poorer students will have to incur huge debts and will thus be even poorer.

  10. Allan, Michael Gove is the Secretary of State for Education. Universities fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, which was formed from a merger of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. It has, short of traditional collective responsibility, piss all squared to do with Michael Gove.