A touch too much

March 26, 1999

Roger King is wrong to think that to devise a credible standard for teachers in higher education, a balance must be struck "between proper rigour and a reasonably light touch" ("Institute of Learning gears up", THES, March 12).

Rigour and touch are separate dimensions that cannot be traded off against each other. Each has to maintain an optimal position between "too little" and "too much". Any attempt to balance one against the other will lead to less than credible national standards.

Lewis Elton Professor of higher education University College London

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