Facts on figures

July 29, 2005

The letter from Alfred Morris ("Not so clear view", July 15) contains an obvious non sequitur. In order for the vice-chancellor to replicate the position of the University of the West of England in the tables, he needs not only our methodology but also all our data.

We do publish our methodology in The Times Guide in terms the lay reader can hopefully understand. We also respond to individual inquiries, usually from university colleagues, for more technical information. But our publisher, HarperCollins, pays the Higher Education Statistics Agency many thousands of pounds for all the raw data within a commercial agreement that defines precisely what the data can be used for.

Presumably, Morris could do the same for his research and the agency would be only too pleased to oblige. That said, Hesa does send each university its own data for checking and I can assure him that many do so with due diligence.

Bernard Kingston
Co-author of The Times Good University Guide Sheffield

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