Let's stop this shameful elitism 4

October 15, 2004

Bob Brecher's ideas to solve the admissions conundrum (Working Knowlege, October 8) are an eloquent expression of my long-held view that student places should be allocated by lottery. Brecher adroitly demolishes the various admission tests and shows that random allocation would deal with the participation agenda at a stroke. He doesn't say, but infers, that it would test whether the research universities can actually add value through teaching.

It is time to end elitist recruitment of students, and let students choose universities rather than vice versa. A national minimum matriculation should be set (the same for all subjects), then any student could do any course at any university they chose if they achieved that minimum. Places on oversubscribed courses would be allocated by lottery.

Simple, efficient and fair.

Lee Harvey
Sheffield Hallam University

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