Money goes to money

March 10, 2011

David Blunkett suggests that we are moving towards a hierarchy of universities shaped by the wealth of the students they attract ("If I were you, Mr Willetts...", 3 March). Was it not ever thus? Yes, but the disparity in funding is set to increase, giving an advantage to universities that recruit better-off students.

The travesty and injustice is that more affluent students who will not baulk at fees of £9,000 a year will have more spent on their education than less well-off students. They will get better paid and more numerous staff, better libraries, new sports facilities, smaller group teaching and so on. If you think that public spending cuts are unfair and that the NHS is moving towards a privatised system where the well-off will get better treatment, then just watch the higher education space.

Let us view differential fees from the perspective of what students get, not from the viewpoint of universities. My late mother always said that "money goes to money"; now I know what she meant.

Mike Goldstein, Streetly, West Midlands

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