Quality crimes

January 28, 2005

The chickens have come home to roost at the University of Wales ("Watchdog reissues warning for Wales", January 21).

For the past 15 years, we have urged the university to take its role in maintaining the academic standards of its constituent institutions more seriously. But despite all the warnings, and several high-profile scandals at Swansea, Lampeter and elsewhere, the federal authorities have persistently failed, in the words of the Quality Assurance Agency, "to provide a leading role... in the management of quality".

Nothing could be more absurd than the university's response that the constituent institutions should be responsible for their own quality and standards. One might as well suggest that, since the police have failed to reduce the crime rate, the criminals should be put in charge.

Michael Cohen and Colwyn Williamson
University of Wales, Swansea

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