Rocket over squib

September 10, 1999

How extraordinary that the chief executive of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, Tony Higgins, should hazard the view that the Association of University Teachers admissions boycott was a "damp squib" and that "few academic staff" had taken part in it ("Pay dispute set to escalate", THES, August ).

It has to be way beyond his brief for him to be speaking on behalf of university employers in this way - and all the more to make statements on matters of which he cannot have direct knowledge.

Far from being a "damp squib", the action achieved the AUT aim of maximum publicity and minimum disruption to students. The only comment Mr Higgins could reasonably have been expected to make was a neutral one on the extent to which the clearing operation had or had not been disrupted.

Howard Moss

President

Swansea AUT

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