Treasury must stump up for Bett

July 2, 1999

Has the Bett report told us anything we did not already know? That most academics are underpaid, that universities do not have the money to make up the difference and that the government will not find the additional cash?

Universities could deal with the problem themselves, but the government refuses to give them the freedom that includes, yes, top-up fees, adequate loans and scholarships. Of course this will happen eventually, but only after more damage and confusion.

Like the Dearing report, Bett said nothing new; however, and yet again, we will get even more complex bureaucracy with the proposal for a new national negotiation council for employers and staff for pay and conditions. This solves nothing. Nor does it help universities in their mission to promote scholarship and learning in all its necessary variety and diversity.

Thomas Kempner

Emeritus professor, chairman Brunel University Council

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