Respect is due to Roper

April 2, 2009

I noted with some concern the distasteful tone of David Hardman's letter about the departure of Brian Roper, vice-chancellor of London Metropolitan University (26 March).

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the current travails at London Met, it is important to note that Roper introduced a number of innovative and challenging ideas into the higher education arena. He has a creative mind and a willingness to share his insights freely with colleagues.

His considerable achievement at London Met was to create a distinctive culture adhering to the Government's objective to widen participation in higher education. This is not an insignificant matter and deserves considerable respect.

He also fostered international activities and managed to attract significant numbers of overseas students to an institution that is not, on the face of it at least, as attractive as many others in London. And the manner in which he forged an identity out of the merged institutions that formed London Met is evidence of his commitment and talents.

Michael Woolf, President, Foundation for International Education.

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