Leading article: Save chemistry

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The Independent Online

The desperate state of chemistry in our universities should be ringing alarm bells in Whitehall. The subject has been phased out as an undergraduate degree at Queen Mary, University of London ( see page 6). It has also gone at King's College London and at the University of Swansea. The University of Leicester is thinking seriously about the subject's future, so it may vanish there as well. The Government's philosophy is to leave subjects to the mercies of the marketplace. The marketplace may be efficient, but it is an imperfect way to allocate resources. The Higher Education Funding Council should have the power to ensure that we don't lose a subject that is so vital to our wellbeing.

The desperate state of chemistry in our universities should be ringing alarm bells in Whitehall. The subject has been phased out as an undergraduate degree at Queen Mary, University of London. It has also gone at King's College London and at the University of Swansea. The University of Leicester is thinking seriously about the subject's future, so it may vanish there as well. The Government's philosophy is to leave subjects to the mercies of the marketplace. The marketplace may be efficient, but it is an imperfect way to allocate resources. The Higher Education Funding Council should have the power to ensure that we don't lose a subject that is so vital to our wellbeing.

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