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The Independent Online
From Christine Chessman Madam: Elaine Williams article on professional titles (19 January) reminds one of the old joke "Fog in the Channel: Europe cut off".

There are different systems of appointing professors. The traditional British system is at one extreme, the US one at the other. In between are the ancient university systems of Europe and the even older Arab or Muslim universities.

The problem British universities face is that the traditional Oxbridge system is unacceptable in the international context and there is no will (or means?) to generate by consensus a single alternative. However, there should be - through the professionalassociations and/or the CVCP - an engine for generating a min-imum level of concord.

Yours faithfully, CHRISTINE CHESSMAN Chief Executive Association of University and College Lecturers Southsea Hampshire