1 NOVEMBER 1963, Page 13


Robbins J. D. P. Bolton, Douglas W. Franklin, J. M. Brown, C. G. Vernon Homosexuals and the Law Antony Grey TV Interviewing Manners George Bilainkin Wheels Within Wheels Kenneth H. Ross How to Wage War Earl Haig Protest Vote F. Stephenson A Question of Style James D. Young


SIR,—The Robbins Committee has demonstrated that 'more' does not necessarily mean 'worse,' by showing that during a period of increased intake into the universities the proportion of those getting good degrees also increased. It is difficult to see what other criterion the committee could have used; nevertheless this does not allay a fear that 'there is a ,sense in which 'more' almost certainly means 'worse.'

1 am far from being alone in thinking that edu- cation, at every stage, contains a moral element: that is, that in addition to equipping the recipient for a livelihood it should. also equip him or her in some way for living—for coming to terms with society and the universe. This element is not re- flected in the class of degree obtained. Though books should contribute to its formation, it is not imparted through lectures and seminars so much as through good personal relations between teachers and pupils. At no time is this more important than at the university, when the young are turning into adults, and their minds are finally setting in the shape they will probably keep for the rest of their lives. We university teachers have a heavy respon- sibility. Probably few of us today discharge it as well as our predecessors did; if student numbers increase too fast, and teaching becomes too im- personal, it may be impossible to discharge it at all.

This would be a pity,, as not only should we be guilty of a dereliction of duty towards the young, but society might be deprived of one of the benefits which it surely expects from its highly educated citizens: that they should want to serve their fellow men to the best of their ability.