Have standards hit an iceberg? 3

December 3, 2004

Peter Williams argues (Soapbox, November 26) that there cannot have been any lowering of academic standards in universities because they would risk losing their reputations when we all got to know about it, as we certainly would.

Surely, when a substantial proportion of 400 academics complain that standards have been lowered, we have indeed got to know about it.

No, Williams says, they are "self-selected" and so do not count as witnesses. One can imagine Williams as the captain of the Titanic responding to a seaman who reports an iceberg ahead with the words: "You are a self-selected witness, not a valid survey, and so I shall ignore your report."

Anthony Matthew
Leicester

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