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THE Letters

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Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday. We reserve the right to edit all contributions. Authors can expect to receive an email version of their letter for correction of fact, but not length, on Monday. Please provide a daytime telephone number. Letters published will, along with the rest of the publication, be stored electronically and republished in derivative versions of Times Higher Education on computer networks and elsewhere unless the author specifically refuses permission for us to do so.

In defence of Surrey’s politics department Subscription

26 March 2015

As graduates and current students of the department of politics at the University of Surrey, we are writing to express our concern at reports that the department will, in effect, be closed at the end of this academic year

Not everyone’s on board Subscription

26 March 2015

It has been just over five years since Sir David Melville’s report on London Metropolitan University criticised an earlier board of governors (and senior executives) for failing to hold a previous vice-chancellor to account

Open at what cost? Subscription

26 March 2015

The letter “Open to the challenges” from Tim Blackman, the acting vice-chancellor of the Open University, wrongly says that our letter “Light and shade in OU student numbers” questioned the OU’s commitment to open entry

Good mental health Subscription

26 March 2015

The stock response to rising levels of demand for psychological and emotional support in universities is that destigmatising mental ill-health leads to more people disclosing problems

Immigration irritation Subscription

26 March 2015

The UK wants to attract the best talent, but now, thanks to its disgusting immigration policy, this country is losing a fine academic. I am ashamed to be a British citizen

Self-citation not needed Subscription

26 March 2015

I am a postdoctoral researcher. Over the past few years, I have taken the inevitable step of peer-reviewing papers for a number of journals in my field of research. I read [your recent] article and had to respond to some of the points that were perhaps not discussed

The right answer for MCQs Subscription

26 March 2015

Contrary to the view expressed by Hugh Fletcher, the practice of penalising wrong answers in multiple-choice tests is normatively inferior to simply counting the number of right answers

Obsolete differences Subscription

26 March 2015

Aristotle first divided the arts from the sciences and, on balance, I think he got it right. Works of art are unique and stand for ever. However…

USS must work for support staff Subscription

19 March 2015

In the otherwise comprehensive report on the changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme, there was no mention of some of the key issues facing the more than 10,000 support staff in the scheme

Keeping DLHE data honest Subscription

19 March 2015

The article by an anonymous former employee of an English university will concern anyone with an interest in the quality of higher education data and the broader reputation of the sector

The real threats to freedom Subscription

19 March 2015

Miriam David’s review of Who’s Afraid of Academic Freedom? was a thought-provoking read. However, from the review it seems that the book is largely concerned with the US

Open to the challenges Subscription

19 March 2015

The letter “Light and shade in OU student numbers” paints a misleading picture of the Open University’s performance. It also questions some of the core principles on which the university was founded

Mental well-being for all Subscription

19 March 2015

The lecturer who describes their schizophrenia is to be commended for their unusual approach of accepting their mental illness and disclosing it to their manager from the outset

A nation’s drama Subscription

19 March 2015

Although it was pleasing to see such a senior academic as Helen Fulton read Alan M. Kent’s visionary opus The Theatre of Cornwall: Space, Place, Performance, it was somewhat disappointing for Fulton to regard Cornwall as a “region that thinks it is a nation”

Light and shade in OU student numbers Subscription

12 March 2015

As academics at the Open University, we were interested in the report on the OU’s student numbers, which raised important questions

Exams with merit Subscription

12 March 2015

Why do medical faculties have such a problem with multiple choice questions? A chicken pecking randomly at four possible answers will score 25 per cent on average, one correct answer for three wrong ones

Regulation regret Subscription

12 March 2015

It is a great pity that once again a Universities UK working group has delivered a mouse

Flexibility? It’s already here Subscription

12 March 2015

I was interested to read “Flexible study emerges as cross-party concern”, but, sadly, my interest was more in the evident chasm between the understanding of politicians and what actually happens in higher education

Open eyes to field skills Subscription

12 March 2015

The loss of field skills and, in particular, identification skills, is an issue of deep concern that has been highlighted by select committees and reports by the Natural Environment Research Council, the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and others

Secret support Subscription

12 March 2015

Hannah Arendt apparently said “goodbye to philosophy once and for all” and instead preferred “thinking without bannisters”. However, a bannister does provide valuable support when climbing a staircase…

Passing the baton Subscription

12 March 2015

I was fascinated to learn David Eastwood’s thoughts on being a vice-chancellor, although like many, I suspect, of your musician readers, slightly doubtful about his allusion to sonata form

Salaries made simple Subscription

12 March 2015

According to Sir Ian Diamond’s efficiencies report, many universities are moving towards “nuanced and responsive systems of pay and reward”

A welcome shift in tuition fees policy Subscription

5 March 2015

Funding undergraduate education through the current combination of tuition fees and loans is dishonest, unfair, inefficient, unrealistic and damaging to the university

There be efficiencies Subscription

5 March 2015

Remuneration is undoubtedly a contributing factor to UK higher education’s ability to attract and retain world-leading staff. However, there are other important aspects that need to be given due weight

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