Letter: Looming gap year (2)

October 19, 2001

Surely no one would disagree that students "deserve better treatment in the changing education system" (Letters, THES , October 5)? In my experience, lecturers show a lot of sympathy towards students caught in the money-study-time-trap.

But resorting to giving mini-lectures at the start of seminars is just another step towards undervaluing students' initiative and responsibility for their intellectual development. The burden for students' learning thus shifts even more firmly onto lecturers' shoulders, which might be acceptable to ministers but not, I suspect, to most lecturers. While appreciating that students are not to blame for their lack of funds, such action neither helps the case for restoring maintenance grants and/or re-abolishing tuition fees, nor promotes academic excellence. It is nothing other than condoning and consolidating - or playing - the system. Surely we must strive instead to retain a degree of quality?

Gillian Ania
School of Languages
University of Salford

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