Common plight

October 20, 2000

It is a pity your reporter spoke only to the dean of the school of advanced study at London University, of which the Institute of Commonwealth Studies is a part ("Commonwealth institute could close", THES, October).

ICS does balance its books despite increased payments and demands from central administration. Now further cuts seem likely to ensure central administration's survival after the building-up, NHS-style, of parallel bureaucracies in larger London colleges such as King's and University College London, to whom greater autonomy has been granted.

It is to be hoped that Sir Anthony Kenny's review committee will adopt a fair and just approach towards one of the more outward-looking and cost-effective parts of London University devoted, with colleagues and friends throughout the UK and beyond, to advanced study of the history and problems of some of the poorest, as well as the richest, peoples in our world, grouped together in the Commonwealth. They are there, they will not go away and they need to be studied.

Michael Twaddle

Deputy director

Institute of Commonwealth Studies

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