Masterly nonsense

April 19, 1996

What a lovely spoof ("All-year study is inevitable", THES, April 12)! But a little over the top. The evidently fictitious "Lady Blackstone" (nice touch) was clearly too remote from the realities of modern university life to be sufficiently convincing.

"She" was unaware of the Association of University Teachers' survey that revealed academics as working more than 50 hours a week and also unaware that many departments, with high taught postgraduate numbers, are already working 12-month years. As for the idea that there are large numbers of people who will be prepared to work part-time for the pittances that universities can afford - well! What a farrago of nonsense - with dollops of faddish management ideas thrown in.

Tom Wilson Head of department of information studies University of Sheffield

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