AspireAs the University of Nottingham's new campus project continues to push on, at least a part of it has become more high-profile. BBC News is reporting that "Aspire" — the planned steel girder sculpture on the Jubilee expansion — will be 60 metres tall, making it "Britain's tallest free-standing work of public art".

Sounds impressive, no? But the BBC is also reporting that the sculpture alone will cost £800,000, which is impressive for different reasons.

When teaching groups aren't striking over pay, student groups are repeatedly commenting on the supposed "lack of funding" for affordable service initiatives, the extortionate rates of University-owned accommodation and the poor-quality University-produced food. That Vice Chancellors can earn more than the British Prime Minister and fund this fairly pointless sculpture, but not see to the needs of their customers and residents, is frankly horrific.

According to Sir Colin Campbell (outgoing Vice Chancellor of the University), "Aspire is about the University and the city making a bold statement about its future, and seeking the positive recognition Nottingham thoroughly deserves."

UoN LogoAccording to me, the University ought to start by really deserving positive recognition by recognising its shortcomings and that its subsidiaries' "for-profit" business model is not an effective way to run a University. Building a massive great steel pole at £800,000 is not any way to improve a University's reputation or standings.

Besides, I still think my suggestion of "The Obelisk" ought to have won the naming contest.