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What a stonker!

I ALWAYS find The Last Word a welcome flippancy, but the other week's (TES, March 21) was a thundering stonker. Libby Purves's stout hurrah at the news that St Hilda's College, Oxford, is to retain its all-female status, is - in the patois of its strapping gels - a ripping hoot.

Please pass on my congratulations to her for this masterly piece of humbug.

She may care to know that in my role of advising kids on university choice - mainly from among the manufacturing classes - I always caution avoiding places such as St Hilda's on the grounds that they represent an instinctively pernicious view of society, totally out of place in an education system which seeks to encourage openness and tolerance. The kids I advise are likely to feel as "cosy" (Purves's term) there as they would: a) with the buffoons of a Gentleman's Club; or b) on a hot date with Hinge and Bracket.

Dr Gerard Connolly 9 Florida Road Shalford, Guildford, Surrey

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