While Richard Black may be correct that good research and good teaching can go together, they often do not (“Have universities really neglected teaching?”, Opinion, 19 November). Few lecturers can expect to excel at both as they require completely different approaches, and each of them takes considerable commitment. As students deserve the best teachers, and universities also need the best researchers, it is sensible to specialise in one of the roles. When a student starts university, it is little use to have a lecturer who is at the forefront of some advanced, esoteric research. Specialised teaching skills are required at this stage, and only specialised teachers can supply them.
Specialist mentor, Additional Learning Support, Bournemouth University
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