Snobs should back off

July 2, 2009

There is little connection between undergraduate and postgraduate success ("Masters for less than high-flyers", 18 June).

Poor performance at undergraduate level spurred me on to undertake the further studies I felt capable of, and after two years of work for an MSc, I went on to complete a doctorate. Today I'm a successful academic supervising several excellent PhD students of my own.

When I was course leader for an MSc in biomedical instrumentation, we had basic entry requirements. When these weren't met, we offered a diploma (a la University of Central Lancashire). Only if students passed it with a sufficiently high mark were they allowed to sit the degree, usually successfully.

Those who have little understanding of such matters should not jump to conclusions. Academic snobbery is as detestable as any other form.

J.A. Simmons, Emeritus professor of radiation biophysics, University of Westminster.

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