Readers' reactions

October 20, 2000

Last week in The THES

Valentine Cunningham and Ron Cooke debated the past and present states of our universities

Martyn Hammersley. Professor of educational and social research Open University

What a wicked trick by The THES.

On the same page as Valentine Cunningham's lament over neo-managerial destruction of old academic values, we have an article that reads like something out of a Laurie Taylor column. These days it is so difficult to tell the difference between what is genuine and what is not.

Ron Cooke, the vice-chancellor of the University of York, Laurie Taylor's old university, tells us that the e-university described in the Higher Education Funding Council for England's "proposed business plan" will "help with market intelligence, global promotion, quality assurance filters, facilities for course development and delivery, technical assistance and student support".

I particularly liked the line: "It is difficult to predict future markets, and part of the challenge is to create them."

Brilliant. Universities run not just by accountants but by advertising executives.

So much for those of us who thoughtwe were engaged in education and research.

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