Adrian Monck argues (Opinion, December 22/29) that, like companies, universities should be subject to mergers and acquisitions to become more efficient and customer-focused.
Unfortunately, he is wrong. The evidence on mergers in higher education is that the benefits rarely outweigh the costs: what is gained through resource rationalisation is offset by more bureaucracy.
America and Australia show that, because higher education is a positional good, marketisation simply reinforces inequalities between students and between institutions. But why let evidence get in the way of facile comparisons with the private sector?
Southampton Solent University