Another week has gone by since I posted about a mysterious 'new lead' in my long quest to have someone at Northampton University engage with me over China and Tibet, and not surprisingly, I haven't heard a thing from him. Clearly, nobody in this place is going to talk to me, not even the lecturers' union - you know, those people who were supposed to care about these things.
In the meantime, on Thursday last week, the local paper - who wouldn't publish a letter from me on the subject either - announced that the University was expected to have the sixth largest fall in the number of enrollments for 2012/ 13 in the whole country. Which works out, apparently, at roughly 350 fewer students.
Of course, this had nothing to do with increased tuition fees, according to someone from the University, and was "in line with their predictions" (they used some management-speak phrase like that). And the Uni wasn't concerned because they were seeing a concomitant rise in students from overseas, who don't register on the same enrollment list. So the edifice wasn't about to fall down around their ears or anything.
Just think about that for a moment, gentle reader. Overseas students. How much do you want to bet a large number of those are from China?
The closeness of the University's relationship with China is truly staggering. I did a little research today and found out that the CEEG, or the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Enterprise and Governance, based at Northampton, has what it calls "international partners" in Shaoguan and Beijing, and a partnership with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, set up in 2010. Since 2011 the centre has included the China, Transitional and Developing Economies Group.
"The work of Professor Richard Sanders," I quote from the university's own website, "has influenced Chinese government policy towards the management and funding of rural business development." All of which is fine and dandy. Shame it hasn't done anything to prevent the thirty+ deaths by self-immolation in Tibet since 2009, not to mention the shootings, beatings,disappearances and persecution of anyone
trying to practise their religion in peace.
Funny how what Mr. Sanders and Nick Petford and Bruce Hodder (just about, although I have no money) enjoy in England - the freedom to live our own lives without undue molestation or the presence of an occupying army on our streets - isn't supposed to matter to other people. Not when it gets in the way of a good profit anyway.
I almost wish I hadn't found these things out because now I feel as if I'm studying in a den of whores. Northampton University should be thoroughly ashamed of itself for associating with those murdering CCP bastards but it won't see anything even vaguely wrong with what it's doing; and if any of the people I've tried to talk to over this spent even sixty seconds thinking about my emails before they pressed the delete button I know I'll be the one who's dismissed as a crank.
Better to be a crank than a realist, I say, if realism is doing business with killers.
But now I'm stuck in a University I've lost every ounce of respect for with one year of my degree left to do and a dissertation on postcolonial literature,of all fucking things, to write. Yes, these people teach that invading other countries, brutally suppressing the native population, destroying their culture and stealing all their natural resources is wrong.
I love some of the people I've met since I started at the Uni, but the more I think about the institution itself, the more I have to hold my nose just to get through the door.