Earning and learning

September 15, 2000

If academics in London are to get much higher salaries (Soapbox, THES, September 1), then the costs of degrees in London should rise to reflect this. The effect of this would be to make much university provision in London unattractive and so increase demand for places in low-cost areas.

Otherwise, what Andrew Oswald is advocating is simply a subsidy for universities in the Southeast, so they can afford to pay all their staff high salaries, not just those whose research and teaching requires a London base.

City firms have moved activities out of London in response to differential costs; universities must do the same if differential pay is to operate.

Ranald Michie Professor of history University of Durham

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