Ivory Tower: we gain exclusive access to the WhatsApp group of the higher education taskforce
Moderator: This account has not been active for some time. It will be deleted in seven days unless further use is detected.
OfficialUUK: Is this still a thing? Haven’t had a message for months.
UniAlliance1: Who is this? Is this the group for my gym class? Haven’t been for a while.
OfStuds: Maybe we should have a consultation on whether to continue the group.
DfEadmin: This is the WhatsApp group for the Higher Education Taskforce. Please be aware that anything posted here is still subject to Freedom of Information requests.
Million+: You mean someone might actually be able to find out what goes on at the higher education taskforce?
RussellG: Nothing apparently, I thought this was a group set up to arrange our family Christmas.
MichelleD#handsfacespace: The higher education taskforce is the important way the government consults with universities.
UniAlliance1: Could I book a slot for a spin class?
MichelleD#handsfacespace: The government values the input of stakeholders across higher education.
UCUnion: That’s good to know.
DfEadmin: Rogue user detected on this group.
Gavin@GavinW: Sorry, didn’t know this group was still active.
MichelleD#handsfacespace: With so much going on in higher education, I’m really keen to hear what people in universities have to say.
NUScomms: Just not students.
DfEadmin: Rogue user detected on this group.
BoJoPM: How do I switch this thing off, it keeps pinging like the cash till in a company with a government PPE contract.
OfficialUUK: If you want to know what is going on in universities, why don’t you visit one?
RussellG: Why don’t you let all students return to campus?
Million+: We have classes you could attend.
UniAlliance1: If the spin class is full, could I book yoga for next Wednesday?
MichelleD#handsfacespace: As part of the government roadmap we have looked at universities and decided that this is just too difficult to do at the moment.
OfficialUUK: Re-opening campuses?
Gavin@GavinW: No, cutting tuition fees…sorry I’ve said too much.
RussellG: Are we talking about the same roadmap?
MichelleD#handsfacespace: It’s just not safe to do this at the moment.
Gavin@GavinW: We need to wait until after.
Million+: The spending review?
Gavin@GavinW: The local elections.
OfficialUUK: Are you finally going to respond to the Augar review?
DfEadmin: Due to purdah restrictions we are unable to answer that question.
Million+: Purdah doesn’t apply to Whitehall at the moment.
DfEadmin: Sorry, I meant due to Covid restrictions we are unable to answer that question.
RussellG: What Covid restrictions?
MichelleD#handsfacespace: At this moment in time it is much safer not to visit campuses.
OfficialUUK: Safer for who, ministers?
BoJoPM: Is this UberEats? Are you far away, Carrie going a bit nut nuts.
Gavin@GavinW: We appreciate that you will be disappointed by this news.
RussellG: About campus re-opening?
Million+: About cutting tuition fees?
BoJoPM: That my lunch is late? I should coco, I’m livid. Will it be free when it arrives?
UCUnion: Can we actually discuss something important on this group?
DfEadmin: Reviewing permissions for this group.
OfficialUUK: What important topic should we begin with?
UCUnion: The Universities Superannuation Scheme
RussellG: Oh God.
OfficialUUK: Having connection problems, just about to go through a tunnel.
OfStuds: Perhaps, we could set up a consultation?
OfficialUUK: Way ahead of you.
Gavin@GavinW: The government does not take an interest in university pensions.
Million+: That’s news to us.
Gavin@GavinW: I meant real universities.
UniAlliance1: Beginning to think this isn’t my gym group.
DfEadmin: I think the secretary of state means old universities.
Gavin@GavinW: Do I?
MichelleD#handsfacespace: Pensions do not fall within the remit of this group. Can we discuss the burning issues?
UCUnion: 46 per cent contribution rates are pretty hot.
BoJoPM: The T&Cs say that if you are more than an hour late, I get the food for free.
OfficialUUK: Can we talk about A-levels?
Gavin@GavinW: Having WiFi problems, need to shut down for a bit.
UCAScorp: Any changes to the university application process will need to be taken slowly after extensive consultation.
Million+: Didn’t know you were on here.
UCAScorp.: Thank you for your inquiry, we will respond to you with five working days.
OfficialUUK: I meant A-level results this summer.
NUScomms: What A-levels? They’ve been cancelled.
DfEadmin: Grades will be awarded on the basis of teacher evaluation, some schools and colleges are setting their own exams after the Easter holidays.
NUScomms: Really? When did that happen? Sorry, got to go. Where are my history notes?
MichelleD#handsfacespace: There is a separate taskforce for A-levels.
OfStuds: Is there?
MichelleD#handsfacespace: There was last year, looking at the government roadmap we are due to have another one quite soon.
OfficialUUK: Are we talking about the same roadmap?
Gavin@GavinW: I think you are mixing up your WhatsApp groups.
MichelleD#handsfacespace: No mother, I can’t visit this weekend, it’s not safe to do so at the moment.
Million+: Are you using the purdah excuse on your mother, as well?
BoJoPM: It’s now been an hour, how long does it take to deliver a luxury ready meal?
WhartonChair: New to this group, hi all.
BoJoPM: When can I expect my lunch?
WhartonChair: I didn’t appreciate that was part of the job.
BoJoPM: It bally well is, what did you think you would be doing?
WhartonChair: Something about statues?
BoJoPM: Damnable cheek, I’ll have you fired.
WhartonChair: But I’ve only just got here.
BoJoPM: Ah, at last, just knock on the door and someone will take the food from you.
MichelleD#handsfacespace: I’m sorry mother, there are restrictions in place.
Million+: Student number controls?
RussellG: That is not a topic for this group.
UniAlliance1: It certainly is.
RussellG: Sorry, signal failure, can’t communicate with group.
Million+: Not for the first time.
OfStuds: Can we produce an agenda of topics for discussion?
WhartonChair: I would just like to say that I will not hesitate to use my powers to defund those universities that do not uphold free speech.
DandridgeCEO: As chair you don’t actually have any powers to do that.
Gavin@GavinW: I’m back, did I miss anything?
Million+: How far back do you want to go?
Gavin@GavinW: Free speech is this government’s number one priority for universities.
DandridgeCEO: Not levelling-up?
Gavin@GavinW: Free speech is this government’s number two priority for universities.
OfficialUUK: Not getting students back on to campus then?
Gavin@GavinW: Free speech is this government’s number three priority for universities.
RussellG: What about making the UK a science super power?
Gavin@GavinW: Free speech is this government’s number four priority for universities.
Million+: What about this secret roadmap to cut tuition fees?
Gavin@GavinW: Free speech is this government’s number five priority for universities.
UCUnion: What about the war on Critical Race Theory?
Gavin@GavinW: Free speech is this government’s number six priority for universities.
WhartonChair: Do I really have to make lunch for the PM?
MichelleD#handsfacespace: Look mother, there’s this thing called purdah, it means government ministers can’t travel until after the local elections.
DandridgeCEO: No one on this group seems to have a problem with free speech. Maybe we could get an answer to the burning questions of getting students onto campus and what is to happen about A-levels.
OfStuds: Didn’t you say there would still be grades?
Gavin@GavinW: Cancelled…trying to cancel membership of group.
Cancelled, MichelleD has left the group.
Cancelled, WhartonChair has left the group.
BoJoPM: Does anyone on here know how to work a microwave? Carrie on the edge here.
OfficialUUK has left the group.
RussellG has left the group.
UniAlliance has left the group.
Million+ has left the group.
UCUnion has left the group.
DfEadmin: Taskforce has been encrypted.