Defend degree value

August 8, 2003

Peter Williams was right to question UK universities' accreditation of small institutions overseas ("QAA: accreditation 'risky'" THES , August 1).

My university has reduced its overseas franchise contracts from 26 to zero because it was clear that quality could be maintained only at a price that would render such accreditation non-viable.

If we devalue the authority to award degrees, then we have no defence against an extension of that privilege to bodies other than universities in the future.

David Chiddick
Vice-chancellor, University of Lincoln

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