Rocked foundation

October 13, 1995

Your report "Building Collapse" (THES, September 22) which relates to the closure of the BSc (Hons) construction economics degree at Southampton Institute is inaccurate. There were 36 students involved, not 32.

Southampton Institute did not say that the degree which was revalidated in June for five years, had a bar to first-year entry placed on it within a week of its revalidation, well before it would have been apparent how many part-time students would want to enrol. Not only was the course revalidated to be offered in a multi-mode format, it was designed to be run in common with the BSc (Hons) construction degree which was revalidated by the same panel. The institute also did not say that when the decision was taken to phase out the course, construction and quantity surveying members of staff within the built environment faculty were invited to consider voluntary redundancy and/or early retirement. The key member of staff was not myself who had already taken voluntary redundancy but one of the two remaining quantity surveyors, who was appointed only a year ago.

P. I. MARKS Former course leader, Chetwyn Avenue, Bromley Cross, Bolton, Lancs

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