We must act to stop the rot

7th February 1997 at 00:00
It was with great sadness that I read in The TES (January 24) that some university physics departments will be closing down.

Market forces have a lot to do with the demise of physics, as does the widely-held perception that physics is a difficult subject to study at all levels (a view backed up by a number of recent studies carried out by the Institute of Physics).

In order to attract students into higher education, some university courses, which have in the past expected a prerequisite knowledge of physics at A-level (for example medicine and engineering, to name but a few), are abandoning the important role played by the subject.

The number of A-level physics candidates is plummeting. In the future, there will undoubtedly be a great shortage of skilled engineers and physicists. What can we do to turn the die? Or has the rot already set in?

GURINDER CHADHA Head of Physics New College Telford Shropshire

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