Tricks of the trade 2

May 30, 2003

Margaret Hodge's pledge to "create a market" in higher education ("Hodge: we will control market", THES , May 23) lays bare the government's real agenda to allow some universities to "go to the wall" and force others to engage in a market economy that risks their very mission.

Such bluntness on the part of the minister is alarming. We have a government that regards the introduction of a "market" as more crucial than avoiding student poverty and maintaining the integrity of our higher education sector.

Those who have so far advocated differential fees should seriously reconsider their position, and those who, like the National Union of Students, have opposed their introduction can now feel vindicated.

Chris Weavers
Vice-president Education, NUS

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