Letter: Counting the value of further education

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Sir: With regard to 'The fashionable option' (Higher Education, 11 February), to refer to part-time study as a 'fashionable option' is both patronising and inaccurate. For most Birkbeck (the adult education college of London University) students, it is the only option available. In the current economic climate, not many of us can afford to give up our jobs and return to full-time study, especially as this may involve paying tuition fees of pounds 1,000 or more a year.

Cutbacks in grants for full-time study mean that an increasing number of people are likely to resort to part-time study in the future - if they are lucky enough to be able to afford the time and money. This is not a 'fashion': sadly, it is a matter of simple necessity.

Yours faithfully,


(MA, Birkbeck College, 1992)

London, NW10

12 February