The Spectator

Letters | 13 September 2012

For richer, for poorer?

Sir: Liza Mundy (‘The richer sex’, 8 September) concludes that ‘history has shown that human beings are above all adaptable’, and should therefore adapt to women earning more than men. Her article appears to be mostly about women who are already married and I think this is probably true of married couples — they will adapt. As for the ‘partner’ brigade, I think the inequality will prove to be just another excuse for an easy break-up.
Michael Holden

Sir: As a 17-year-old girl, I’d like to congratulate Liza Mundy on her refreshing, well-balanced piece. I was heartened by the idea that more men will embrace a domestic role, wielding blowtorches for the crème brûlée and so on. If she’s right, and I hope she is, I look forward to living in a world where men make dessert.
Freya Rawling
London SE22

Sacrificing standards

Sir: Martin Vander Weyer wants us to treat foreign students as an export market (Any other business, 8 September). Many years ago, when visiting a wealthy American college while working for a shabby and rundown part of the British university system, I expressed to a professor my envy of his luxurious surroundings. I have never forgotten his reply: ‘Don’t envy us. You have something we don’t have. It’s called standards. Never become dependent on money from the students and their parents to pay your wages. If you do, low grades for idle pigs will become a distant memory and failure unknown.’ The dependence on fees means that, in effect, degrees are being sold by the majority of British universities. Some students now pass exams with work that would have been considered inadequate if written by the ten-year-olds my wife used to teach at a Surrey junior school.

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