No-win competition 2

April 9, 2004

1. Gordon Brown: "Nothing will matter more than leadership if universities are to be global players" (News, March 26). As not all universities can be global players, this is clearly a call for competition.

2. Robert Reich "warned Britain of the pitfalls of introducing competition between universities" (In the News, March 26).

I wrote the following in 1984: "The recent external threat... has put the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals in a position where the government overtly treats it as a body that 'speaks for the universities'

in the full knowledge that all vice-chancellors are far more concerned about the wellbeing of their own university than about the university system as a whole."

What's changed? Will the new Leadership Foundation be able to reconcile these conflicting views?

Lewis Elton
University College London

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