Tim Birkhead's change of perspective on university teaching as a result of becoming a parent of a student feels familiar. With a daughter hoping to go to university in 2007, my concerns are partly financial. I've been doing some back-of-the-envelope calculations about the £3,000 tuition fee. I reckon that £3,000 should buy her about 25 hours of tuition in groups of ten for 30 weeks a year. The experience of parents of students I know suggests she'll be lucky to get a fraction of that. I suspect that parent power will increasingly be a force to improve teaching and student retention in UK universities after the tuition-fee increases.
Ormond Simpson Open University Institute of Educational Technology