Working holiday

August 25, 2000

Robert Walls perpetrates against university teachers the oldest libel in the book by equating contact hours with the total number of working hours (Letters, THES, August 18).

All teachers have to prepare their courses and keep up with the literature. On top of that there is supervision of research students and the demands of the research assessment exercise and Quality Assurance Agency. While a minority undoubtedly find ways of avoiding hard work, they should not be allowed to denigrate the majority who are putting in a full working week for most of the year.

W. A. Speck

Emeritus professor of modern history, University of Leeds

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