I am a 39-year-old postdoctoral surrounded by rejection letters for the third year running (Letters, THES , August 17, 24).
Based in an English department, my doctoral dissertation was on a comparative literary topic, but it was not until my conversion interview that anyone suggested that the multilinguistic aspect might mean I was less attractive to an English department than a candidate with wider experience of primarily English texts. And even then no one implied my age might be a negative factor.
Why take on mature postgraduates under false pretences? Why waste years of their lives? Or are we just helping to fill the box-tickers' quotas?