I went to the University of Hertfordshire’s postgraduate open day today – a couple of strange feelings about the trip for political reasons – the one previous time I had been on the campus was when I had a not every pleasant encounter with the Revolutionary Socialist League/Militant Tendency controlled student Labour club of what was then Hatfield Polytechnic at the very end of 1987, and on the way there I suddenly realised I was walking down the same street where I had spent the afternoon “knocking up” for Labour on 1 May 1997.
But my trip today was nothing to do with politics: I was simply checking them out as a potential PhD institution. It was a long way to go for a five-minute conversation, though it was still worth it as it clarified for me that I should concentrate my efforts on getting the MSc project done and not worry about a PhD just yet.
I was quite impressed by the university, though, for a few reasons. Firstly, most of the main campus is built in a particular civic style popular in Britain in the late 1940s, early 1950s: low rise vernacular brick and glass I am going to call it as I don’t know any better. It’s a style I like because to me it suggests optimism and endeavour and public spirit after the huge financial and other hardships of the war – a war in which Britain’s willingness to sacrifice its finances was absolutely fundamental to the global victory over fascism and militarism.
Secondly, because they told a good tale of how they believe they are the best of the “new universities” and that they have backed up that claim by investing significantly in their infrastructure – they also said they run the largest university bus service in the world: so the Chinese are not beating Britain on every superlative yet!
- Welcome… (aerofutures.wordpress.com)