Letter: University politics

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The Independent Online
Sir: Political bias ('Universities fear political bias by funding councils', 1 February) has been a real threat for some time. The Observer reported as far back as mid-1988 how Sir John Harvey-Jones, the former chairman of ICI, was told he was 'politically unsuitable' for the chairmanship of the University Funding Council.

To sandwich academics between political control from above by government, and the pressure of the 'political correctness' movement from below, would be to put many academics in the social sciences and humanities in an unpleasant position. If this happens, expect the 'brain drain' to accelerate.

Undergraduates must be made aware that alternative policies are possible, contrary to Margaret Thatcher's opinion and threat that 'there is no alternative'.

Yours sincerely,

A. CHABLO

Oxford

2 February

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