End Oxbridge MAs scam

August 14, 1998

Your front-page story ("Oxbridge MAs in danger", THES, August 7) started me thinking.

Of course Ivor Crewe is right to say: "Nomenclature and abbreviations I must indicate one, and only one, level of difficulty".

After all, there are people calling themselves inspectors who are inspectors of constabulary, inspectors of buses, inspectors of ancient monuments - and who would know the level of skill and attainment required in each of these no doubt worthy callings without a single, unambiguous title for each?

I am also worried about the Sergeant at Arms in the House of Commons being confused with mere army sergeants, and landlords of country and city estates being confused with landlords of public houses.

Even Oxbridge does not escape the problem - is the vice-president of a college too easily confused with the quite different role associated with that title in a large United States corporation?

I await helpful guidance from the Quality Assurance Agency qualifications framework development group.

Mark Gray Department for continuing education University of Oxford

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