18 OCTOBER 1963, Page 15

SIR,—Mr. Amis has every reason to be touchy about Mr.

A, D. C. Peterson's attack on stock objections to university expansion. After all it was Mr. Anil's with his gift for science fiction who, without any research at all, coined the blindingly profound slogan 'more means worse.' In face of all authoritative evidence, he has been justifying himself ever since. If•Mr. Amis could just take a little time off from worshipping his own contributions to scholarship, he might be persuaded to understand that the Russians, the Americans, and the Scandinavians, to name but a few, experience no difficulty in educating a higher proportion of the university age group than we in Britain.

A little more thought about the implications of Mr. Peterson's remarks concerning the 'standard of degree might reveal to Mr. Amis that what is required during the students' first years (and it is for the students that universities primarily exist) is more teaching and supervision. From his previous out- bursts we know how this notion sends Mr. Amis into tantrums. He cannot get on with his research, the students are stupid, etc. etc. Thank goodness this is not a common attitude. Most university teachers realise that a large proportion of the modern genera- tion of students is recruited from non-professional and working classes. They are prepared to accept that this may make life a little more difficult because more Intensive teaching may be required. If they all took the view of Mr. Amis the academic ladder would be more frequently pulled up than climbed.

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