Stirling work in summer

August 23, 1996

Your correspondent (THES, August 9) reports that just two institutions are running summer semesters. The University of Stirling has been offering a seven-week credit-bearing summer academic programme for three years under the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council's flexibility in teaching and learning scheme. This year we have some 300 students on 20 courses.

The summer programme has become an integral part of our provision for part-time students for whom it is a means of reducing the duration of their general degree studies. For full-time students the SAP is not designed as an accelerating mechanism - nor is it simply a means of making good previous failures. Many of the full-time students taking SAP units are adults adopting a strategic approach to study.

If a skilful funding policy is followed, the impact of a summer programme on research and teaching quality is beneficial. Rather than asking existing staff to work extra, we put sufficient resources into departments to free summer staff at other times.

PROFESSOR S. I. LOCKERBIE Educational Policy and Development University of Stirling

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