In the wrong context

25th May 2007 at 01:00
I would like to correct a comment in your article "Unsung heroes" (TESS, May 11) which you attributed to Graeme Hyslop, principal of Langside College.

In your report on the Tribal conference in Edinburgh, which I chaired, you said: "Mr Hyslop demanded university lecturers be subject to the same level of training as college lecturers, describing the HE sector's lack of qualifications as "verging on fraud".

Mr Hyslop did say that HE staff should be trained but it was in the context of core skills integration. His reference to "verging on fraud" related to what he calls "the disgrace of the six-year Honours degree", which he considers a national insult to poor students who come through the FE college route.

Because many universities do not act on the recommendation of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework that students with a Higher National Diploma should gain entrance to the third year of an appropriate degree - and often only take them into first year - these students lose their funding earlier than they should, and certainly by their Honours year.

In reply to his own question "Where does the money go?", Mr Hyslop responded: "Into the university coffers - and even in a Third World country, that would be deemed fraud."

Mr Hyslop is a well-respected figure within education in Scotland, as his membership of the review group and current board for A Curriculum for Excellence shows. He was asked to be keynote speaker at the conference partly because it was election day, with the future for Scotland's colleges unsure and dependent on the result at the polls, and partly so that he could give his views on where the new government should take Scotland's colleges in the future.

Brian Keegan. Brian Keegan Education Consultancy

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