Not enough days in the week

April 28, 2011

Jon Nixon (Letters, 7 April) asks why we don't see our personal tutees on a weekly basis. He suggests we are too busy researching to do our job as teachers. As a lecturer in a hard-working school that prides itself on the quality of our student experience, I'm sick and tired of these old-fashioned and incorrect assumptions about the academy.

Someone needs to point out to Nixon that if we saw our personal tutees every week, we would have no time to teach (lectures, seminars, etc); mark (quality checks, external examinations); instruct and examine doctoral candidates; admit students to courses; have open drop-in office hours for them; write courses; and that's all before we've even started on the admin. Research happens on the odd day you're free and yet it is research that informs good teaching.

Does Nixon really want his children taught an understanding that is years out of date or irrelevant to the work environment they will enter after graduating?

Allowing out-of-date misperceptions of the academy to persist is exactly what has allowed the government to take 85 per cent of our funding, resulting in students having to pay huge amounts of money for an activity with significant public value.

Lisanne Gibson, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester

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