LETTERS: Chalk without the talk

Francis Beckett ("Silencing our academics", 2 June) describes a disturbing cultural shift in universities but concentrates on the spectacular examples. This new corporatism is having a covert but malign influence on the working lives of teachers and students.

Debate is no longer the life-blood of the university. Rather it is seen as a dangerous haemorrhage threatening the health of the academy. Low morale, job insecurity and the competition between departments for limited resources have made it possible for the new style of management to create an unhealthy silence on our campuses. This will harm both teaching and research. And it is difficult to see how a system that has become so wary of debate can hope to defend itself against increasing direction from central government in how and what it teaches.

Rod Edmond

Canterbury, Kent