Letter: In Brief

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The Independent Culture
Sir: At last the Oxbridge MA degree problem is being addressed ("Oxbridge fights MA modernisers", 8 August). I have worked in Africa for six years. I now lecture to Masters degree students from abroad. On occasion I have had to inveigh against the nefarious practice of buying false certificates for "degrees" from fly-by-night agencies that advertise to, and entrap, gullible people.

A degree, I say, is recognition of academic achievement. It cannot be bought. And yet I have to admit that in 1965 I purchased my own Cambridge MA. Africans and others from all over the world can scarcely believe it. You can buy a Cambridge degree?

May I plead that, far from opposing change, Oxbridge take a lead in abolishing this embarrassing, astonishing and antediluvian practice? A Cambridge Master's degree ought to be as respected as that of any other university. At present it is not.

JOHN D ANDERSON

Shipley

West Yorkshire

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