Lau­rie Tay­lor’s Fourth De­gree

THE (Times Higher Education) - - CONTENTS - Lau­rie Tay­lor re­ports

Stu­dents in Teesside Uni­ver­sity’s com­put­ing school are con­vinced that Santa Claus re­ally does ex­ist, Fourth De­gree can re­veal.

“It was quite in­cred­i­ble,” said one stu­dent. “There we were, sit­ting around ex­pect­ing the usual gifts – an up­per sec­ond here, a lower sec­ond there – when, to our sur­prise, we opened our parcels and dis­cov­ered that we had all been given firsts.”

One stu­dent who had been moved up from a third to a starred first told Fourth De­gree: “Of course, one could take the cyn­i­cal view that Teesside was sim­ply try­ing to boost its rat­ings in the do­mes­tic league ta­bles by hand­ing out higher marks and then jus­ti­fy­ing the move with an egre­gious of­fi­cial state­ment about the pre­vi­ous marks hav­ing been ‘out of kil­ter with the sec­tor’. But at this time of year, it’s surely more ap­pro­pri­ate to be­lieve that this happy out­come was prompted by the spirit of Christ­mas.”

As we went to press, Santa Claus was unavail­able for com­ment, but a lo­cal res­i­dent re­ported see­ing rein­deer fly­ing over the uni­ver­sity’s fa­mous Mid­dles­brough Tower.

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