Letter: University diversity

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Sir: Donald MacLeod ('A second Man United'; Higher Education, 25 March) implies it is logical for us to move towards 'super-universities' on a North American scale. But this ignores the success of the diversity of higher education institutions in US cities. Boston, for example, has at least half-a-dozen independent universities (MIT, Harvard, Boston, Cambridge, Tufts, Clark, and so on) providing a great range of courses and student experience.

It is a model we are developing at Brighton. Together, the University of Sussex, the University of Brighton and Brighton College of Technology provide for more than 18,000 full-time students (together with 11,000 part-time and 17,000 continuing and adult education students). Our strategy is to maintain independence, competing in some areas, being complementary in others and establishing joint degrees and collaborating institutes, such as the Sussex Technology Institute which is about to be launched.

Through greater access and joint courses involving the Colleges of Further Education in West and East Sussex, this will provide a rich diversity of higher education without resorting to mega structures.

Yours faithfully,



The University of Sussex

Falmer, East Sussex

26 March