Have standards hit an iceberg? 5

December 3, 2004

It was with some surprise that I read a letter from two former employees of Luton University in The Times Higher last week (November 26). Their comments are strange, not least because the changes to assessment to which they refer took place in the mid-1990s, long before my appointment in 2003, and yet they include a personal attack on my memory.

The comments are also inaccurate, as the changes did not affect our pass-fail boundary. Our criteria are firmly rooted in national advice from the relevant bodies and our external examiners have not questioned them.

We are top among the new universities for the quality of our teaching. At no time have I - or would I - allow standards to be compromised. The whole tenor of this ongoing debate in The Times Higher is on failure. Surely the debate should be about how we support students to succeed?

Les Ebdon
Vice-chancellor, Luton University

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