Readers' reactions

May 14, 1999

Last week in The THES...

Andrew Oswald argued that British academics would be paid market-led salaries within the next decade, with science professors earning twice as much as art or music professors.

Kevin Malone

Senior lecturer in music Manchester Metropolitan University

Andrew Oswald's suggestion that those who teach skills that are most in market demand should get paid nearly twice as much as those who teach skills which apparently are not in as much demand (music, art and anthropology) indicates a fundamental flaw in social thinking: that arts and humanities are considered expendable in our society.

Business is only how we stay alive; the arts are why we stay alive.

Perhaps if the pay scale were inverted -Jwith arts lecturers paid the highest salaries -Jwe would attract high-fliers who would develop better-adjusted students. These students might understand that the almighty pound should not dictate what is and what is not worth pursuing.

Douglas B. Kell

Institute of Biological Sciences University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Andrew Oswald's mischievous article contains one feature which cannot go uncommented upon. His table is titled "future pay differentials for the big UK universities". Why the size-ism? If we are to have such pay differentials, one could argue that it is the smaller universities, which can perhaps least afford to lose their academic stars, that should most earnestly be concentrating on paying them appropriately.

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