Last week, the British Council sponsored a conference at the Marriott Hotel in Warsaw, led by the big wigs of de Montfort University, Leicester, to discuss Brexit and to make its implications clear to would be Polish students.
I have to reflect that since nobody knows when or whether Brexit will happen, the claim that the scope of this meeting was to discuss its implications is nonsense. Clearly, this was a marketing ploy by a third rate university to attract unsuspecting Polish and other Eastern European students to fill its coffers. The Rector, in his opening speech, cited a Polish student who, after a four hour meeting at the university to discuss the Brexit implications, asked him for a letter to show at British passport control in order to re-enter Britain, since he was going to Poland for the weekend. One wonders what they were discussing. What did the Recter hope to gain by drawing our attention to this example? His own lack of discretion or, dare I say, honesty?
The de Monfort crew implied that their university can equal Oxbridge. It cannot. De Montfort is 53rd in the British university rankings. It is to be regretted that the British Council should be promoting such deception. Furthermore, the mantra that de Montfort and Leicester itself are multi-cultural is true, though not perhaps in any way a young person from this part of the world would understand or appreciate. The woman speaker’s declaration that whilst Britain might be racist, de Montfort isn’t, was neither true, appropriate nor intelligent.
Whoever made the decision to support de Montfort’s visit should consider the ethical consequences of the BC’s role as the ‘British Educational Trade Mission’ more carefully. Even business requires some ethics.