Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The very definition of pandering

A hookup app for course selection.

Searching for the perfect university course can seem a bit like finding the perfect soulmate. But one university has sought to alleviate the stress of the hunt by launching a mobile phone app aimed at helping students find “the course of their dreams”, and with a functionality similar to Tinder, a popular dating app that allows users to search for would-be partners in their immediate vicinity. On Tinder, users can declare an interest in another user by “swiping right” on their phone (or dismiss them as a potential match by swiping left). The University of Salford said the Match Made in Salford app and website, which hooks up prospective students with their ideal course, was designed to make the experience of clearing “reassuring and enjoyable”.

There's more at Times Higher Education.

Salford's website repeatedly elbows you in the ribs to make sure you don't miss the double entendre, The headline is "Finding the course of your dreams is easy."  A hearts-and-chili-peppers graphic bisects the page.

See the little chili peppers?
And there's even an Instagram campaign.


  1. I think this would be of limited use in certain faculties.

    When I was an undergrad in engineering 40 years ago, there were certain courses which were mandatory in order to get a degree. Some were required by all departments while others were specific to one's discipline. This was so that anyone entering the profession had the proper background in order to qualify for registration.

    At the same time, we also had a limited selection of technical and arts courses to choose from to round out our education.

    I'm sure that other faculties, such as medicine and law, had similar requirements.

  2. Another multilinked contribution from the inimitable Frankie Bow. Thank you, Frankie.

    I think Salford should do themselves one better and create an app to make choosing a university just as "easy".

    You'll [heart] Salford. We're "easy".

  3. I'm tempted to apply some critical thinking to this idea, starting with the idea of "your perfect match" (course or mate). What about the course/person that you don't think much of at first, but grows on you (or the one that seems fun and entertaining at first, but a bit vapid and predictable as the weeks wear on)? Or the choice made in the process of recovering from unquestionably adverse life circumstances that leads to considerable happiness in the end? As with many things in higher ed, I'm not at all sure that the approach that caters to the least mature impulses of the traditional-age (or older) student body is the sort of guidance that an educational institution should be embracing.