How higher education works

I am sitting in the office of a colleague, when two students from privileged backgrounds wander in.  They have been sent to speak to him by the secretary, as they want to take his 3rd year geology course, but don't have the prerequisites from the 2nd year. She tells them that they can only sign up for the course if they get permission from the lecturer.

The students try to persuade him that their experience in other subjects is sufficient for them to bypass the requirements, but he tells them it is non-negotiable.  The university has prerequisites, and if you haven't done them, you can't take the course.  The students mutter for a while, try a second time to persuade him of their suitability, but fail, and are told - firmly but politely - that they will not be able to take it.  They leave the office.

They then walk straight downstairs to the secretary's office and tell her, yes, the lecturer has given them permission to take his course!


(In doing this, the dimwit students overlooked two crucial things. Firstly, that academic and administrative staff do talk to each other, and secondly, that there was a witness to them being told they would not be allowed to join the course: me.  Needless to say, their plan failed abjectly.)
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