We're all at IT

March 24, 2000

Rhiannon Chapman ("Academics face egotism charge", THES, March 10) shows her ignorance of university programmes of study in her charge of "rampant egotism" levelled at Britain's academics.

There are many partnerships between universities and the IT industry, resulting in a wide variety of programmes at undergraduate and post-graduate level. Examples include an undergraduate degree at Portsmouth that links with IBM and has run since 1988, a masters at Staffordshire with an integ-rated programme with Learning Tree International and other courses that include units providing professional industry certification.

To state that "tomorrow every university will probably be wanting to do it, but none of them would have had the courage to start it" is inappropriate. Fair play and all credit to Sheffield Hallam University, which has shown initiative in various ventures in the past, but other equally exciting and diverse developments have been started by other universities in the past. There is a lot of work being undertaken to ensure that universities are responsive to industry's needs and also to the changing needs of students.

Providing professional certification is only one of the options.

Gillian Lovegrove

Chair, Conference of Professors and Heads of Computing, the Subject Body for Computing

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