Readers' letters - March 20

Universities are seats of learning at a high cost

Friday, 23rd March 2018, 5:22 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd March 2018, 5:25 pm
A correspondent comments on the spiralling costs of universities. Do you agree?

The universities are in the news for several reasons, for example tuition fees, lecturers’ strikes and expenses for vice-chancellors and management.I am interested because I studied six years with the Open University and obtained an upper second-class degree while holding down a full-time job. Except for a few summer schools, I studied at home on my own with material sent through the post.Getting degrees can be done much cheaper through the OU. There would be enormous saving on costs of students’ keep and tuition, as well as maintaining the university buildings.Perhaps the role of universities has been inflated. No one denies university experience can be valuable but there is no doubt the spiralling costs of these seats of learning are running out of control.Don BurslamAddress supplied

Pledge your support during Carers’ Week

More than six million people in the UK look after a loved one with a disability, illness, mental health problem or extra needs as they grow older. Whilst caring can be hugely rewarding, it can have a huge effect on us, our lives and our plans.Unpaid carers are often unprepared for the impact caring can have and frequently put their own health and wellbeing needs to the ‘back of the queue’. That’s why, this Carers Week (June 11-17), we are asking individuals and communities up and down the UK to help unpaid carers stay ‘Healthy and Connected’. Whoever you are, whatever you do, you can make a difference by helping to make it easier for people to recognise their role as a carer and get support from their communities and the services around them.More than half of carers have seen their physical (61 per cent) and mental health (70 per cent) worsen as a result of their caring role.From employers introducing ‘carer-friendly’ policies at work, to GP practices offering check-ups and flexible appointment times for carers, communities are integral to supporting carers’ health and wellbeing.As such, we’re asking readers to visit the Carers Week website to find out how you can make a difference to carers in your area.Heléna Herklots CBEChief executive of Carers UKTit-for-tat responseWhilst Mrs May’s actions against Russia will have the commendable result of reducing our expenditure on profligate diplomatic missions in the light of the expected tit-for-tat response to her expulsion of Russian diplomats, I fear that she really has underplayed her hand.Whereas immediate nationalisation without compensation of all Russian owned property in the UK might lead to a temporary downwards blip in the London property market, selling these assets off by auction could largely finance the costs of Brexit and would allow UK citizens to pick them up at a substantial discount.Prices would soon rise again – even without further government subsidy of the rental market by increased Housing Benefit.John Eoin Douglasvia email

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Fools behind wheel in snow

Watching cars on TV sliding in the snow the other week told me why the chaos is caused. Because they were not prepared. Why are smooth tyres used in winter? Why were chains on wheels not used as they were during the winter of 1947 and beyond?Also why were warnings ignored for the motorways? I have no sympathy for any people who act like sheep. A HagueAddress supplied