Nick Hillman notes that “since students and lecturers are facing larger class sizes…they should be asking where all those £9,000 fees are going” (“Workloads heavier in £9K fees era, say scholars”, News, 9 April). The answer is clear (by a factor of 1.5) from the adjacent survey (hint: it is not to the academics). But the ratio of academics to total staff in the UK is just half that of Germany. Similarly, the student-to-staff ratio in the UK is 50 per cent higher than that in Germany. As with research funding, we lag behind virtually all the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. It is worth a mention at the hustings.
Douglas B. Kell
Research chair in bioanalytical science School of Chemistry, and Manchester Institute of Biotechnology
University of Manchester