Safeguards in superleague

November 11, 1994

In the "Students knock elite grouping" article (THES, October 21) I was quoted as saying that the LSE students' union has passed a motion opposing the development of an Ivy League of universities. This is incorrect, the motion opposes some of the potential outcomes of an Ivy league of universities, not the set up of a league itself.

The dangers involved include the possible uniform intro-duction of top-up fees; decreased equality of access to the upper echelons of higher education; a lack of responsiveness to student needs and diminished student representation.

These institutions already fare poorly in comparison on the issues of academic appeals and student representation. To formalise this through a superleague, where students become customers of, not participants in higher education, where you "pay your money and if you can't take the pressure, get out," is a backwards step. Academic elitism will always exist. What we in student unions must do is protect present and future students from having to make the choice between a top class education and education at an institution where all is financially and academically equitable and the students receive top class support. This is all that the "Aldwych Group" should intend to do.

MARTIN LEWIS Student union general secretary London School of Economics.

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