How to boost numbers 1

August 25, 2006

Your editorial (August 18) has things upside-down when it blames the declining proportion of people entering higher education on the Government's failure to address educational inequalities.

UK student enrolment recruitment is mainly hampered by excessive central control of the admissions process. For instance, student numbers are capped at each university. This prevents popular universities from expanding as much as they could and indirectly forces students to attend less popular institutions. The rationale for capping student numbers is that otherwise unpopular universities would go bust. But the cost is that fewer students are satisfied and demand for higher education is reduced. If the Government takes off the cap it will hit enrolment targets.

Bruce G. Charlton. Editor-in-chief, Medical Hypotheses

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