Napier education

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Some of us who were colleagues of George Kerevan when he taught at what became Napier University can recall him being rather less enthusiastic about its ethos than he was in his article (Perspective, 19 February) though he was of course right to praise what it achieved, both as a polytechnic and then as a university in science, engineering, film and design courses as well as its HND and day-release work.

The downside to this, however, was the huge accretion of management and business studies courses in the Thatcherite 1980s, some of which were closer to ­lobotomies than anything resembling real education.

As science and engineering was cut back, they consumed resources which were denied to arts and
humanities-based courses and there are many who will ­recall the uphill fight needed to ­develop these to degree level.

History is a clear case in point. Ultimately, when degree modules in it were offered at 
degree level, it drew large numbers of students who found it a welcome release from the dross they were required to listen to elsewhere.

Yet at no point did Napier’s promoted apparatchiks ever give it any recognition as a subject.

The phrase “cocks crowing on middens” still comes to mind where these mediocrities are 
concerned.

Ian S Wood

John Street

Edinburgh