Readers' reactions

July 23, 1999

Last week in The THES... Andrew Pakes's article implies that Birkbeck College, London, is an example of worst practice in the way it deals with student complaints.

Lucy Reed President Birkbeck College, London, student union

Over the past year, Birkbeck has worked hard to ensure that students have the right to redress - as laid down in the Dearing report - by the start of the next academic year. The procedure is now in place, no thanks to the National Union of Students. No one will deny that a year ago the college was somewhat backward in this area, but it has been remarkably responsive to our requests. It is a shame that a small student union such as Birkbeck was left to do the work unsupported by its national body.

The NUS is right to pursue its campaign of "naming and shaming" universities that do not operate fair and rigorous complaints procedures. But naming and shaming would work better, Andrew, if you made a point of getting it right. Andrew Pakes promised to name and shame

universities that ignored student complaints...

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