Sir: While the investigation into the future shape of higher education in Britain to be undertaken by Sir Ron Dearing is to be welcomed (report, 20 February), it is vital that we do not forget the immediate crisis facing our universities this year as a result of the Chancellor's November 1995 Budget statement.
The Dearing report will be too late to influence the education of this year's intake of students and, indeed, those who are currently enrolled on courses. How universities are to cope with these further stringent "efficiency gains" is a matter which must be publicly debated now: 1997 will be too late.
Chief Executive Officer
University of Teesside