Why does KCL hate its own students?
It would be nice if you could listen to us
Earlier this year Lancaster University decided to change their logo. This provoked a mass outcry from students, who opposed the modification on the grounds that:
a) The new logo was an obvious attempt to inject a modern, forward-thinking uni with a dose of fake ‘tradition’ that it didn’t need.
b) The majority of the student population had failed to be consulted or forewarned about this change at all.
I remember thinking how frustrating it must be to be so completely ignored by the institution that was ostensibly representing you, created to further your education, expand your horizons and ultimately equip you with a voice that could be heard in the big wide world.
Step the fuck up KCL.
Since I started at King’s College London in 2013, it’s let me down a lot. There’s the consistent failure to represent BME individuals (particularly women) within the uni, the attempts to escape paying staff a living wage, the often disgusting conditions of the halls (paired with eye-watering prices), mass redundancies and the perpetually broken WiFi.
But ultimately, it’s KCL’s terrible and dismissive attitude towards its student body and their very real concerns, that have left me feeling like
this is a university that just doesn’t give a shit about its attendees.
Why King’s? Why do you hate us? All we’ve ever craved is your love.
And now you’ve decided to rechristen our university as “King’s London” in a move that’s been explained as “part of a process of incremental change at King’s to improve our performance in both education and research as we aspire to be universally recognised as one of the world’s great universities.”
Newsflash dickwads. We are recognised as one of the world’s great universities. In fact, we clawed our way to 16th place in the QS World University Rankings this year. It’s nationally that we’ve got a problem.
What’s funny (BUT ARE WE LAUGHING?) is that our low UK placing in the league tables owes a great deal to our student satisfaction scores. Our average is 3.91 out of a possible five. We are ranked 111 out of 123 institutions. Quite frankly, that is an absolutely dogshit performance.
But apparently, the most glaring problem that’s facing us as an institution is that “our current name [is] causing considerable confusion”. So much “confusion” that our administration have decided to spend £300,000+ on rebranding the entire university, when six months previously 120 staff members were made redundant as a cost-cutting exercise.
Not only that, but we are to legally remain King’s College London – so really, what is the fucking point of any of this?
Students love to be outraged; it gives us something to do between deadlines. But this goes further than a simple excuse to get angry.
This is a very real betrayal of people who fork over £9000 a year in order to be recognised as graduates of King’s College London. Not the grammatically incorrect impostor the administration is attempting to foist upon us.
To be brutally honest, our name is one of our most attractive assets. There are nearly 200 years of history and tradition embedded within our title- we are the third oldest university in England.
Even with our increasingly dire student feedback, a degree from KCL still opens an incredible amount of doors- we were ranked 7th for Graduate Prospects 2015 by The Complete University Guide.
The incompetence of the individuals running this shitshow means that students weren’t even directly told about these measures by those up top – a blog from the KCLSU President, Sebastian Debrouwere accidentally spilled the beans before the Principal’s email could be sent out.
The uniformly furious reaction surely shows the claim “a wide range of students were consulted” to be a bold-faced and unforgivable lie. In fact, a very telling comment appears on a deliberately vague post concerning ‘brand review’ on KCLSU’s website, where one young woman complains that her attempts to get involved have been repeatedly ignored by all relevant parties. Wide range of students my ass.
What’s even more incredible is that Mumsnet appeared to have the news of the rebrand six months ago – which means it has taken until December to even mention it to the majority of its fee-paying scholars.
King’s thinks we’re stupid. That’s the only explanation. Why else would they expect us to swallow their feeble reasoning behind the rebrand? Are we really meant to believe that prospective students can’t differentiate between a college and a university? GOOGLE EXISTS.
UCL don’t seem to have these issues, but then again, maybe they’re keeping their transition to University’s London quiet for another year, so there’s no chance the students can get incensed enough to stop it.
Honestly, it would be easy to blame current Principal Ed Byrne for this omni-shambles of a rebrand, but it’s clear from Sebastian’s Facebook status that we’ve been kept in the dark for a number of years now.
Well done KCL- once again you’ve shown a complete disregard for the students who pay to be a part of this university, while prizing “brand” status above being a successful educational institution.
Maybe if we all try hard enough, we can get that satisfaction score down to 2.00 in time for the New Year.