Damned statistics 2

June 21, 2002

The finding that 28 per cent of UK university lecturers are over 50 is used to imply that we are an ageing profession ("No way to treat valuable citizens", THES , June 7). But if the standard university career runs from 25 to 65, then the over-50s may be 28 per cent of the labour force while covering about 38 per cent of its age span. They are under rather than over-represented.

Jennifer Platt
Professor of sociology
University of Sussex

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