Good times long gone

December 2, 2005

"Satisfactory" is not a very enthusiastic response to a work-life balance question ("Poll finds good morale", November 18); but notwithstanding the problems of such polls, there is a more serious point.

University salaries have been depressed for so long that a generation has grown up knowing nothing else. Only those who have been teaching for 25 years can remember when parity with the principal grade in the Civil Service was an achievable objective.

The advantages of a more flexible working day are important (though diminishing). Ironically, the only job where a university degree rather than three A levels brings no financial advantage is university teaching.

That was apparent in a quickly withdrawn official histogram some years ago when the Government was seeking to demonstrate the value of higher education. All we have instead is a litter of broken promises.

David M. Thompson

Cambridge

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