Letter: Quality defences (1)

October 26, 2001

How many more times will we hear John Randall's outrageous, endlessly repeated insinuation that British universities are somehow analogous to Railtrack?

His former organisation regularly showed that, with very few exceptions, universities have no big problems of the kind he suggests are endemic to professional organisations.

Indeed, the efforts of the Quality Assurance Agency to ensure standards, which Randall claims have enhanced quality, are almost universally agreed to have themselves caused big quality problems.

No one thinks quality control unimportant: what we need are properly paid external examiners and HMI-style visits to observe and discuss teaching constructively.

Andrew Bowie

Member, QAA Benchmarking Academic Standards Group - Philosophy Department of German, Royal Holloway, University of London

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