Professor Simon Piasecki profiled in THE on his This is England roleThursday 15 October 2015
Professor Simon Piasecki, Head of Drama, Dance and Performance Studies, features in this week's edition of the Times Higher Education discussing his role in the final episode of This is England 90 on Channel 4.
Having taught film director Shane Meadows while he was at Burton further education college in 1990, Professor Piasecki was asked to feature as himself in the final episode. In the article, Simon describes the experience of playing a fictional version of himself. He said: "What I could remember was how fired up I was about what was going on in the world [in 1990]. And looking at the young people pretending to be in 1990, but not really knowing what that was like, it was quite fun to try to inspire them about it."
He went on to explain the strange experience of meeting one of his students from Liverpool Hope only to discover she played an extra in the series. "one of [my students] came up...and said: “I thought you looked really familiar.” It turned out that she was one of the fictional students in the scene, as an extra. My fictional student has become my real student. What are the chances?"
The article also explores Simon's own experience as an undergraduate student - "I wore unbelievably daft clothes and had a stupid hairstyle".
He then went on to discuss his reaction to increased tuition fees and the changes to universities since he was a student. "The perceived relationship between the teacher and the learner changes an awful lot. On a daily basis we have to remind students that they’re not customers; they’re young scholars. They’re here for something that has far more integrity than the purchasing of a product."
You can read the full article in this week's Times Higher Education magazine.