Ancient concerns 2

June 11, 2009

Thomas Docherty bewails the dominance of "business" in higher education ("Being a humble servant to business will be a disaster for everyone", 4 June).

John of Salisbury (died 1180) wrote: "If you are a real scholar you are thrust out in the cold. Unless you are a money-maker, I say, you will be considered a fool, a pauper. The lucrative arts, such as law and medicine, are now in vogue, and only those things are pursued which have a cash value."

From the start, universities were training institutions for the professions, although they came to be more. I maintain that graduates can be both economically productive and humanely civilised. The problem now, to my mind, is not loss of mission, but a monstrous, parasitic bureaucracy.

John Radford, Emeritus professor of psychology, University of East London.

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