Qualified expectations (1 of 2)

November 8, 2012

Regarding "Universal lesson to be learned" (Leader, 1 November): I was struck by the statement that "many students will expect their lecturers to have a doctorate, with its guarantee of research experience, as part of the improved 'service' they have been promised". I have heard many times over the years the mantra that teaching embedded in a research environment is superior to teaching by lecturers who are not research-active. However, I must confess that I am unaware of any research underpinning this belief, or in fact any evidence that one of the criteria for students selecting a university course is the quality of research activity in that department.

I would be grateful to anyone who can provide citations of relevant studies to inform further dialogue in this area. After all, if we are to persuade students to part with large sums of money for their education, we should at least know what they expect us to provide in return.

David Jessop, Honorary senior lecturer in medicine and dentistry, University of Bristol

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