Ministerial contrast 1

September 27, 2002

I was struck by the contrast between two sets of ministerial comments ("Dream on, Hodge replies to v-cs" and "Minister boosts hope of pay rise", THES , September 20).

Lord Sainsbury at the Department of Trade and Industry says that because we live in a competitive market, we must pay the going rate for academic staff. Having secured new money in the comprehensive spending review, he is talking about starting to do so. Margaret Hodge at the Department for Education and Skills, however, having apparently not yet secured higher education's share of the spending review cash, insults vice-chancellors by saying they are living in cloud-cuckoo-land for wanting more.

Ms Hodge is right that there will never be enough money for everything, but insults do not form part of the solution, especially when accompanied by neither serious policy analysis nor proposals.

Peter Cotgreave
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