Lorna M Campbell / Wikimedia / CC BY 4.0

UCU strikes had ‘zero impact’ on humanities students

Note: the article that follows is a work of satire, and therefore should not be taken as factual


In a report examining the effect of lecturers going on strike in Hilary term, researchers from Oxford University’s Academic Administration Division have claimed that the impact on the studies of those taking humanities subjects was non-existent.

In explanation of the surprising conclusion, Student Communications Manager Thomas Atkins told the Oxford Student, “Over half of humanities students never bother showing up to lectures anyway, so they won’t be affected, while those that do go tend to be hungover or half-asleep.”

Critics of the report contend that the reach of lectures has been underestimated, as students who listen back to the recordings on WebLearn aren’t accounted for. However, Atkins justified this omission, asserting that “those who listen to the recordings invariably play it double-speed to make themselves feel intelligent, and as a result don’t actually take in what the lecturer is saying.”

When reached for comment, philosophy lecturer Prof. Stuart Jones admitted, “I never plan my lectures, so I’d be surprised if anyone learns anything from them. I usually fumble around with the sound system for five minutes at the start while I think of what to say, before deliberately speaking away from the microphone for the whole hour so no-one hears the garbage I’m uttering.

“If I’m in a productive mood, I sometimes distribute handouts. This ensures the students turn off completely as they feel they no longer have to take notes. Unfortunately I haven’t yet worked out how to successfully print double-sided, but no-one’s complained.”


“If lecturing ceases to be a feasible option, then what would force humanities students out of bed in the mornings?”

Asked if the apparent uselessness of lectures reduces the value of the strike, Prof. Jones replied, “the strike sends a powerful message that education and academia must not be carelessly devalued – if lecturing ceases to be a feasible option in terms of finances for the world’s brightest minds, then what would force humanities students out of bed in the mornings?”

Head of Humanities Katherine Sharpe defended the role of lectures: “The nature of humanities subjects is such that there isn’t really anything to learn, and so to suddenly point the finger at lecturers and accuse them of failing to teach is nonsensical.

“The main thing humanities students pay £9,250 a year for is to read in their own time, while the few contact hours they’re given are aimed at inspiring a sense of learnedness and arrogance. If students wanted to gain knowledge from lectures they would be taking a science degree.”