Hi-tech and traditional

August 18, 2006

Portsmouth University, like Aston University, is exploring links with its local radio station to look at the production of broadcast teaching materials that might also be available for MP3 players and so on ("Txtg info 2 stdnts may b shape of things 2 come", August 11). These are clearly important initiatives.

But it does not follow that this means the end of the traditional lecture or that "universities are essentially service providers... defined by the consumer".

The challenge is to make best use of new technologies while recognising that universities' real purpose, as Alison Wolf states (Opinion, August 11), is to "first and foremost promote the free pursuit of rational inquiry as the route to understanding". That can be achieved through every form of available discourse.

Dave Allen
Portsmouth University

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