Not only students get a raw deal 1

March 3, 2006

Boris Johnson writes of "serious dissatisfaction with teaching among students" ("Today's students get a raw deal", February 24) quoting students, the National Union of Students and a vice-chancellor. He might also want to hear about the serious dissatisfaction among teaching staff.

I wrote to my students last week to tell then that I would like to teach in more creative and innovative ways, but was constrained by the increasing demands on my time. I pointed out that I often put in 60-plus hours a week just to keep on top of work, and informed them that I would be supporting the Association of University Teachers and lecturers' union Natfhe strike.

A number of students have written back in support of the strike and supporting my teaching. This makes it all worthwhile.

Johnson links "teacher-student ratios" to "faculties so desperate for funding that academics are forced to spend their days churning out articles". The problem is that we never have time to concentrate fully on either teaching or research. These should complement each other but, instead, they compete for our time, leaving us unable to excel at either: which is a raw deal.

Sara Rich Dorman Edinburgh University

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