No mobility, no jobs

September 26, 1997

GEOFFREY Alderman (THES, September 19) provides a neat overview of what is wrong with the league tables employed by the press in his argument for a more rational, transparent and credible system of comparing universities and their achievements, but he misses one key flaw and repeats it himself.

All these tables, be they the detailed attempts of The Times or the less impressive Telegraphversions, are only about universities. Twenty-five per cent of higher education students in England, for example, study outside universities.

The justification for these tables is to provide information to potential students, yet repeatedly and deliberately they ignore higher education colleges.

Diversity is praised by Dearing, yet the press finds it easier to homogenise the sector as if were only universities. Perhaps a credible system would include all the institutions that provide higher education?

Mike Ratcliffe Academic registrar King Alfred's College, Winchester

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