Roger Dobson compares the 64,000 and 71,000 PhD students in early 1996 and late 1997 with the 5,800 doctorates awarded in 1980. He does not add that most PhD students study for at least three years while only a comparatively small fraction (it used to be one in four) of those who register are awarded the degree. The product of these two factors accounts for most of the "huge increase" he writes about.

John Bastin

London SE4