Rob, where did you go to university, and how long
Erm…I went to Manchester University to start with, and to do a
bachelor’s degree. Erm…and…
What did you study?
What did I study? What did I study? Microbiology. Erm…and then I
went on to Salford, which is just next to Manchester;
and there I studied parasitology for a master’s degree; and then I
went off to Germany for three years to Giesen
University, and there I did my doctorate.
So three separate universities.
Tell us about life in the er..the English university. Wha..what was
the routine like? Was there a routine?
No, not really.
So what did you do…what did you do when you weren’t studying?
Erm…sleeping, drinking. Erm..life is..is..is not very routine at
a..at an English university. It’s relatively intense
study, and relatively intense play.
But you have your organised classes.
You have organised classes, and as a biologist, yeah, there’s a
lot of erm.. lecture time per day…in that sense it’s a
routine. But it’s relatively flexible in that you don’t have to sign
in to courses. If you miss a lecture, it doesn’t really matter
you can borrow notes from other people. And people quite often miss
relatively large sections of courses . An…You don’t need to cover
that much…erm…you have the information from other
people, and you can…you can still have a lot of fun you do...you can
miss lectures in the morning, or.. miss a couple in the afternoon…it’s
So before exams you would study intensely.
And not go out at all. And is..was…
Well we would study intensely, I didn’t say we wouldn’t go out
Was the nightlife good in Manchester?
Man..Manchester nightlife is very good. There are three
universities in Manchester City, and there’s Salford University
just nearby. There…there were at that time about 60, 70
thousand students in Manchester.
That’s a lot.
So, a very good nightlife, yes.
Are you still in touch with friends from university?
Some; not very many. Erm…I’m still in touch with two or three
people from those days…erm.
Were there many foreign students studying there when you were
In biology no, not really. In the languages
departments..erm..arts, yes. But..erm.. in sciences, relatively few.
Hmm..ok. If you could go back to your university days, would you
change any of your decisions about that time in your life?
I would not change what I studied. I would probably
be more active. I would do more sports, and spend more time meeting
More time meeting women and maybe less drinking.
No, I didn’t say that!