Drones? No - students are the bee's knees

September 16, 2010

It is both inaccurate and uncharitable to suggest that today's undergraduates are "deferring responsibility and delaying maturity" ("No creative buzz from the drones", 2 September).

The Council of Military Education Committees of Universities of the United Kingdom (COMEC) awards an annual prize to the outstanding officer cadet, not only for military leadership and academic contributions, but also for charity and community involvement, sporting achievement and other outstanding endeavours. The quality of candidates was so high this year that the COMEC felt compelled to make two awards.

My fellow council members and I are humbled each year by the qualities of maturity, responsibility, determination and creativity of our young men and women. Some will go on to serve their country in the world's trouble spots, but the majority will become tomorrow's leaders in the public and private sectors. They are a small but representative sample of students who, alongside their studies, form and run student clubs and societies, organise and take part in charitable events, and work hard to support themselves during their university years.

Graduates find it difficult enough these days to find employment. Perpetuating the myth that time spent at university does not provide them with the skills that employers want demonstrates a lack of understanding of what the vast majority of undergraduate and postgraduate students are achieving in the period between school and full-time employment.

Robin Thomas, Secretary to the COMEC

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