Don't plead poverty

December 12, 2003

If, as its vice-chancellor Alison Richard claims, Cambridge University is "underfunded for teaching by £24 million a year", what does this say about other institutions ("Cambridge says it needs fees to pay for bursaries", THES , December 5)? After all, Cambridge is funded twice for teaching by the Higher Education Funding Council for England - once for the university, once for colleges. It also has shorter terms than elsewhere, except Oxford University.

Cambridge gets paid more and teaches less than the rest of us, so what is the problem? Could it be management of the money rather then the amount? The rich can afford to be careless.

Ian McNay
Professor emeritus, higher education and management
University of Greenwich

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