28 NOVEMBER 1987, Page 29


Sir: Terence Kealey asserts that universi- ties are irresponsible and that they answer to nobody Mow academics waste money, 14 November). He is wrong. They are answerable to their auditors in the first instance and then through the accounting officer of the Public Accounts Committee to Parliament. They are re- sponsible to some 400,000 full- and part- time students and many companies and other organisations for the quality of the education and research they provide. By contrast Mr Kealey is evidently not required to answer to anybody as to the truth of his indiscriminate and unsubstanti- ated accusations that universities are irres- ponsible, waste money, employ the wrong people and lie about the difficulties of preserving this country's proud research record in present circumstances. How can anyone answer such irresponsible asser- tions?

Auriol Stevens

Director, Universities Information Unit, 29 Tavistock Square, London WC1