One point that Alan Ryan might have made (Opinion, October 29) is that it is unsurprising that the Government denies that it intends to insist that universities meet their benchmarks.
As benchmarks are not some sort of normative figure, but an average based on what a hypothetical sector would achieve if all students matched the profile of a particular university, it does not take a statistical genius to understand that as many universities must exceed their benchmark as must fall below. Indeed, to punish universities for not meeting their benchmarks would be a singularly odd thing to do.
Finally, in the course of some generous comments about me, Ryan says that I am retired. While I look older than my years, I have found that directing the Higher Education Policy Institute does not feel like retirement.
Director, Higher Education Policy Institute