Talkback:High student-staff ratios

Readers respond to last week's special report on the stresses in higher education
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The Independent Online
From JG Williamson Madam: I was interested to read Lesley Gerard's article "Universities or battery farms?" (5 January), as I attended Greenwich, one of the four universities mentioned as having the worst student-staff ratios. This was in October 1994 and I left after one week as the over-crowding was too bad.

I suppose I should have been suspicious, as I was accepted on the strength of a last-minute phone call and despite having the necessary GCEs was given a "concessional entry" being a mature student. This meant I did not have to produce any evidence of exam passes and as I had not applied through UCAS, the university had no information about me other than what I had said over the phone.

I will not go into the many other things which made me decide that any qualification I obtained would not be worth the paper it was written on, and although I informed the university of my decision, it appears my letter must have been mislaid, and judging by the routine correspondence I am still receiving, no one has realised I attended only two days of lectures.

It would appear the Tory government, in its attempt to massage the unemployment figures, is destroying what was once one of the best higher education systems in the world.

Yours faithfully, JG WILLIAMSON Alston Cumbria

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