Unpleasant side-effects

June 2, 2011

I read with interest your article "School swallows merger medicine" (19 May).

Staff who voted against the proposal to merge the School of Pharmacy with University College London do well to be wary. The most successful mergers with UCL have involved postgraduate institutes with strong research bases, rather than institutions that bring undergraduates with them.

The Eastman Dental Institute is still part of UCL, but the former Dental School was axed in an earlier round of cuts. The London Foot Hospital, once the premier trainer of podiatrists in England, was closed with considerable acrimony after merging with UCL during a property dispute with the local health trust, and undergraduate training moved to East London.

We are still living with the effects of these decisions. The UK has experienced a long-term national shortage of dentists, and the residents of London have lost a well-used and easily accessible centre of expertise.

Unfortunately, universities are not required to consider local or national imperatives when deciding on course closures. As a former patient of the London Foot Hospital, I would recommend that the School of Pharmacy be careful what it wishes for.

G.E. Dunkeld, London

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

But the highest value UK spin-off companies mainly come from research-intensive universities, latest figures show