Is the Brexit vote really as central to understanding Britain’s universities slipping down the QS league tables as your article suggests (British universities plunge again in league table after Brexit vote, 19 June)? The more fundamental cause is surely the structural reforms undertaken by the coalition government.
Switzerland is not in the EU and yet ETH Zurich is going from strength to strength. Outside Europe, the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University (where I work) have shot up the rankings partly because the national government has invested, the universities don’t have to chase the tuition fees of overseas students, and the universities’ missions are tied into national development. Whether or not the Brexit vote is ever enacted, there is nothing to stop the UK following a similar path.
• I could not help but notice that under the headline “British universities plunge again” – note, not “some British universities” – four out of the top 10, or 40%, including Manchester, actually rose up the rankings. This fact is not referred to in the story itself, with a narrow focus on Cambridge. I am sure that the Guardian can do better than this and find room to celebrate as well as commiserate. By the way, I am not an academic but do live in Manchester.
Stockport, Greater Manchester
• Join the debate – email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters
• Do you have a photo you’d like to share with Guardian readers? Click here to upload it and we’ll publish the best submissions in the letters spread of our print edition