Departmental Academese

I had an enjoyable time at the Annual departmental away day, yesterday. For one thing, it was hosted in the grounds of a beautiful hotel on the outskirts of Oxford. For another, I got to talk at greater length with academics who, otherwise, I’ve only met in passing, and to meet other members of the Department, who work on a different campus.

The most useful part of the day, perhaps, was the insights I gained into the way that the undergraduate courses are structured from the afternoon meeting. This took a great deal of concentration on my part though, as I tested hypotheses about the meaning of various acronyms (OBIS, HLS, MCQs, PX students, PS students, SQC students, to name but a few) until the speaker made sense.

Departmental meeting

Departmental meeting

awayday 002

Reflecting on this afterwards, it struck me just how full of acronyms academia is. From the start as a UG student, taking modules U X, Y, and Z, to getting funding from the ESRC or AHRC for your next grant, acronyms rule roost. Having just gotten to grips with Keele University’s particular acronym usage, here I begin again. Has anyone else noted this on entering a new department…..?

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