The University of Life announced today that it can no longer offer the free education it has provided to so many in the past. Established by a group of merchants in the 13th century as an alternative to Cambridge and Oxford, the university has produced alumni who have risen to the top in all walks of life, from Robin Hood to Peter Andre, but now faces a funding crisis.
‘The last name on that list shows you the size of the problem,’ said UoL’s new Chancellor Lord Sugar. ‘Standards among the uneducated have fallen off a cliff and we need the funding to raise our game — especially if we’re to compete with other non-academic organisations like the School of Hard Knocks, which only recently achieved Academy status and re-opened as the Institute of a Bloody Good Kicking.’
After offering a completely free and informal education for centuries, the UoL will now require applicants to borrow £500 to buy a secondhand van and go around selling cleaning products and Amstrad goods door to door. ‘If they can make a profit doing that it will be a bleeding miracle and they deserve a degree,’ said Sugar, ‘but if not they can at least have a student debt and suffer like everyone else.’
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith praised these moves and announced some more new initiatives to support the continued provision of valuable life lessons to the general public. ‘I have decided that the Carrot and Stick system is completely out of date and is to blame for society’s current dysfunctional state. As from 2011 it will be abolished and replaced by a streamlined single choice Baseball Bat-based incentive scheme.’
‘We need to think more about what used to be known as ‘the deserving poor’ continued the government minister, ‘And as far as I’m concerned, if you live in Rochdale and have no job or education, you deserve to be poor and will be given no further assistance. It may sound cruel, but it’s done with the best of intentions — how else can we free up cash to pay a living pension to former MPs and their advisers?’