Most students will be relieved when hereditary peers are booted out of the Lords - because they cannot spell hereditary. But the THES/MORI poll showed that students do have some sense of history - most know when the second world war occurred. However, most (54 per cent) do not know that Canberra is the capital of Australia (30 per cent think it is Sydney).
Some 20 per cent of male students and 15 per cent of female have read Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch in the past year. And 2 per cent of women have read anything by a Bront , but we found no men who have done so.