Failure of funding sums

March 29, 1996

I read with interest that Mr Forth insisted that there is no casual relationship between funding and quality (THES, March 15). Universities claim that quality is damaged as funding is eroded. The evidence seems otherwise.

In the last decade, universities have educated increasing numbers at decreasing units of funding. Yet the number of first and second-class graduates is rising and the number of failures is either static or falling.

Some of our universities claim to be able to provide their students, who have low or no A level grades, with such good teaching that they graduate with flying colours. If this is the case, then let us close down our expensive institutions, such as Oxford and Cambridge, and use the funding to educate four maybe five times their number of students.

Either universities are lowering standards or they are being forced to shed extra fat or perhaps they are telling us lies. If quality is linked to funding that can only mean less first class graduates and more failures, not the other way round.

DR W LEE Didcot, Oxfordshire

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