Bolton at the door

May 15, 1998

Education secretary David Blunkett will shortly meet senior staff from Bolton Institute to consider awarding it a university title.

Very little has been done to poll and understand views at the chalkface about quality and innovation. With the exception of a minor aberration, we have passed our quality audits and put anything wrong right.

Generally, our standards are high, and there are even signs that we are prepared to insist on quality, even at the expense of losing contracts that other universities are prepared to pick up.

My own research in a number of British and European institutions very strongly indicates that we do more than hold our own with European colleagues. It also reveals that we service disadvantaged groups and individuals to a very substantial extent, often with far less resources.

Student feedback, beyond second-order construals of quality audits, talks of "changed lives" and the recognition of the personal touch of many staff. It is time to help us to do more by granting a university title so that our energies can be focused on the daily detail of provision and new projects.

Neil Terry, AUT local chair, Bolton Institute

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