Divine wisdom

December 13, 2012

The centuries-old debate about what makes a university a university, revived by Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Robert Gordon University's vice-chancellor, is indeed eternally relevant (THE Scholarly Web, 6 December).

In 1973, I went to work in what I will simply call a place of higher education. In my early years, Leitch Adams, my boss, used to mystify us by referring to "real universities". Adams one day explained to us: "It is simple: a real university has a Faculty of Divinity."

So, to this day, the UK has few real universities. I hope this clarifies the issue.

Iain Smith, Honorary fellow, 'University' of Strathclyde

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