Letter: private and public

November 17, 2000

Your excellent article on the privatisation of universities omitted three things (Analysis, THES , November 10).

First, random samples of voters show that people put public spending priority on universities far below that on schools, hospitals and roads.

Second, the best universities in the world are - sorry if this is unpalatable - private ones in the United States.

Third, it is fair and sensible to allow those universities that go independent to charge fees that reflect the value of the education they provide. When that happens, public money should be withdrawn and converted into more money for teachers and public universities, and a giant scholarship fund to help poorer students. Private and public can co-exist. And they will.

Andrew Oswald
Professor of economics
Warwick University

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