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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.

OfficialUUK: Eh?

RussellG: Really?

Million+: Consult?

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.

OfficialUUK: What?

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.

RussellG: Seriously?

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?

UCUnion: Again?

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.

Million+: WTAF?

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.

Gavin@GavinW: Cancelled.

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.

Terms of use: this is a free email for fun on a Friday, it should be shared among friends like consultancy roles in a supply chain finance company. Want to order a luxury ready meal to your door? Want to say hello? Email ivorytower@researchresearch.com