Students and responsibilities

“Sir, – I was saddened to read the remarks of the mother who believes that ‘University students need structure’ (‘To Be Honest: A Parent Writes’, Education, February 5th) …” (more)

[Kathleen James-Chakraborty, Irish Times, 6 February]


  • The Irish Times chose not to publish my following remarks on this subject.

    Sir, I read with interest the critical remarks on third-level education by an apparent parent (“To Be Honest: A Parent Writes”, Education, February 5th). I particularly wonder how closely related this parent is to the author who published a virtually identical letter under the same heading on January 24th, 2012. To compare just two sections, this week it said: ‘She seems to have very few contact hours a week…, it’s somewhere between 15 and 20, and there are days when she has only an hour or two a day… I can see my daughter drifting away from the study habit, and I think it’s a terrible shame.’ 54 weeks ago this read: ‘He has about 17 hours of contact time with lecturers each week and they are spread out over the course of the week, sometimes with three or four hours between lectures… My son established a good study pattern in school and it’s falling apart.’ The remaining parts of the letters are equally identical regarding both structure and content.

    The public perception of universities is an important issue and would deserve a more serious engagement than this rephrasing exercise. One cannot help but wonder whose game The Irish Times offers a platform here while the education sector is softened up for post-Croke Park cuts – and also in what shape and form this text might reappear in a year’s time.

    Dr Wolfgang Marx,
    School of Music & Academic Forum,
    University College Dublin.
    Dublin 4.

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