It's time to drop the dead parrot 2

July 12, 2002

Trust Frank Furedi to defend arbitrary and obscure academic procedures in exam marking. From his free-market position, you pays your money and takes your choice. We can expect his endorsement of top-up fees when announced.

He also misses the point. Different marking for the same essays was not reported as an original discovery ("Marking under fire as essay grades are exposed as 'a lottery'", THES , June 28). Just that it had been proved reasonably rigorously for the first time.

Furedi also ignored the question of "style", which is what scripts are really marked on. As Bourdieu revealed long ago, it is the style of higher education not its substance that is assimilated by those students with the requisite cultural capital to do so.

Patrick Ainley
University of Greenwich

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