Goodbye to all this

After an incredible 14 years Paul Greatrix - Registrarism - bids a fond farewell to the world of regular blogging

Paul Greatrix is Registrar at The University of Nottingham, author and creator of Registrarism and a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe.

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I’ve written quite a lot here over the years, probably too much, and a lot of it of pretty variable quality. Some has been serious and, I would argue, moderately relevant, but the majority has been frothy throwaway nonsense.

The time has come to hang up the keyboard so to speak and find something else to do. Whilst the coverage on Wonkhe of true campus crime, animal activity, silly league tables, honorary degrees not to mention HE-related movies, may decline as a result I am sure there will be plenty of more substantive stuff from others on regulation, FOI, leadership and management, governance and other big topics about which I occasionally got serious. Not to mention all of the other core higher education businesses with which Wonkhe is rightly concerned.

A look back bore writes

It is quite a big back catalogue now I look at it. There are almost 1,400 blog posts that I’ve published in just over 14 years. Just under half of these have come out since joining Wonkhe in 2014 with the stuff prior to that being very much home-produced efforts.

So, across those 1,380 or so posts I reckon there are well in excess of 250,000 words (some of them quite good and actually mine rather than just quotations), around 60 editions of True Crime on Campus (but you should see what we didn’t publish), dozens of quizzes, lots of coverage of honorary degrees, plenty of different animals on campus, hundreds of very silly league tables covered as well as lots on HE-related music, TV/movies and other nonsense too.

Back in 2017 I looked back at 10 years of blogging and noted some of the changes we had seen in that time in terms of bureaucracy, regulation governance, IT, social media and, of course, rankings, but some other notable developments too. All of this though has been trumped by the huge changes wrought on our sector in the past 16 months by the pandemic which we will all I know continue to reflect on and respond to in the months and years ahead.

Yet another pointless league table

It would seem remiss not to end without another daft ranking. This league table represents the top Registrarism posts in terms of all-time reads on Wonkhe. Dispiritingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the top three places are simply reports of newspaper rankings and represent no actual effort on my part whatsoever. Indeed the top 8 spots are all on league tables.

Oh well, you reap what you sow I guess. Anyway, here it is:

  1. The Times and Sunday Times Top 20 2019
  2. The Times and Sunday Times Top 20 2020
  3. The Guardian ranking for 2020
  4. The league table of the dumbest university rankings of 2019
  5. One of my personal favourites this: a 2020 fictional ranking of fictional universities
  6. Outstanding in its field, the first UK HE Car Parking Ranking
  7. The Times and Sunday Times Top 20 2018
  8. The league table of the dumbest university rankings of 2018
  9. A piece all about university libraries and their cats
  10. Commentary on universities and their response to the pandemic

We’ll meet again

I am hoping the editors will accept the odd piece from me from time to time, a bit of True Crime on Campus perhaps, yet another rant about excessive HE regulation or the need to ban essay mills, maybe even another made-up league table or an update on some on-campus animal antics. Maybe. (You can bet on it – ed)

So, that’s all folks. Thank you to everyone who has commented, supported, tweeted about, moaned to the editors, and indeed just talked about anything I’ve written. I’ve enjoyed most of it and cried inwardly only sometimes.

Thanks in particular too to Mark, Debbie, David, Jim and all at team Wonkhe for all of your support and encouragement over the years. It’s been enormous fun and Wonkhe remains for me one of the really great innovations in our sector in the past decade and I am proud to have been part of that in my own way.

Thanks all.

Image: The University of Nottingham Security Team deploys its entire force of registrars to investigate an unprecedented outbreak of illegal flyposting.

7 responses to “Goodbye to all this

  1. Your voice will be sincerely missed from the HE blog landscape – if there is an ‘OG’ higher ed blogger, it is Paul ‘the Great’ Greatrix.

  2. Paul, we will miss your wise wisdom. Occasional blogs still appreciated, and calling out daft ‘received wisdoms’

  3. Thank you for your service to higher education, Paul! We will miss the posts. I’m particularly concerned about how we’re going to keep on top of all the news about car parking.

  4. Many thanks Paul. Your blogs have been an inspiration and a source of sanity which is so much needed in HE.

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