Letter: How LSE benefits from a federal university

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is clear from the quoted comments of the director of the London School of Economics ('A second Man United', Higher Education, 25 March) that the art of hyperbole is alive and inflating fast.

The University of London is a voluntary association of higher education institutions in which there are no conscripts.

'Going it alone' has always been an option, yet the LSE - an internationally renowned institution with which the University of London at large is proud to be associated - has chosen to remain a member of the federation.

Perhaps selective quotations should be complemented by a few of the current indicators of the value to the LSE of being part of a federal university:

1 The university's LLM degree is an internationally recognised benchmark in the field, which is run federally and in which the LSE Faculty of Law is a strong participant;

2 The LSE Department of Philosophy, after years of 'doing their own thing', has made plain its intention to join the Federal Degree in Philosophy currently organised by the Board of Studies' other four members (University College London, King's College London, Birkbeck College and Heythrop College);

3 The External Degree system of the university, with more than 20,000 students registered worldwide, has significant participation from, as well as benefits for, staff and departments in the LSE.

Yours faithfully,

STEWART R. SUTHERLAND

Vice-Chancellor

University of London

London, WC1

26 March

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