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Here are three letters.  Readers are invited to reply to  If you would like more information, then please use my reply system.

An Overview of the letters is here

Read the letters and extra info here 

Letter 9 April p 7

University would be a huge folly

'TO my dismay, I see there is a move afoot to add to the motley collection of  universities in this country by siting another in our own embattled county of Hereford. (Shire is Saxon for 'county' and should never have been put on recently replaced road signs.)

Can no-one see that the reason the UK is still over a trillion pounds in debt and in almost perpetual decline is primarily attributable to the fact that we are not producing things anymore? 

I am convinced that only a third of the young people who attend university should do so and that Tony Blair's discredited mantra 'Education, Education, Education' has been a recipe for failure, resulting in a whole generation being conned into thinking that the only way to achieve success in life is to attend 'uni'.

This is a 21st century holy cow inflicted upon them by insidious and subtle indoctrination from the time they enter school to the time they leave college, mainly to satisfy the Government's imposed targets and to encase them in debt - leaving them little time to rebel or question the system.

What we really need are more 'doers' and less frustrated academics, a lot of whom go on to jobs which have nothing to do with the degree they have obtained.

And finally, to cast an eye on our often lamentable and misguided council! Why are they even contemplating a seminary for higher tertiary education when we are told that they scarcely have the resources to keep the public libraries or toilets open? 

If there. is money to spare for such a doubtful undertaking as a local university, why are they making savage cuts in almost every other direction, and can they please get their priorities right before committing themselves to another futile and money-squandering exercise.


St Martin's Street



Tony Blair's discredited mantra 'Education, Education, Education' is here.


Letter 16 April p 7

A call to arms over our practical skills

STEPHEN Constance's letter (April 9) was a call to arms for anyone who cares about the county.

I moved here in 1987, having been presented a job opportunity at now-defunct Thorn Lighting (then the city's second largest employer). I agree entirely with his view that we are over-burdened with "academics" who leave "uni" only to become disenchanted, indebted, and unfulfilled.

It would be much wiser to set up a school/college/academy specialising in taking 14yrs+ kids and teaching them building, engineering, agricultural, and practical skills. For the same amount of cash it would cost to repeat the foibles of other counties, we might have the chance to create something unique and to be proud of in this beautiful county!


Via email



   Letter 30 April  

      Working together is key to the project   

Stephen Constance's letter of 9 April makes sense in the economic climate. His comments, however, will benefit readers after a more in-depth treatment based on evaluating A New University for Hereford  (NUH) website. Readers need not look for the website as they will find it and lots of relevant information and evaluation via  

We are informed by NUH that it " . . . will be working in close collaboration with Herefordshire College of Arts, Hereford & Ludlow College, and the Royal National College for the Blind to ensure that Herefordshire is recognized as a national centre of excellence in education."  I came into Higher Education from Further Education and part time degrees and firmly believe there should be as many routes as possible from FE to HE.  One of my pages looks at the innovative Hereford & Ludlow College which is already developing the pathway for those in F E to make the transition to H E.  The NUH should open its doors to those following that transition.

Jim McQuarrie's letter (16 April) suggests provision for practical skills for young people 14yrs+.  I taught within such provision from 1962 to 1965 as an untrained teacher with technical qualifications and would support future provision.  However, the NUH is a separate issue which will come to fruition, like it or not.  I have asked NUH about the route into it from FE only to be ignored.  

NUH needs people like Stephen Constance and Jim McQuarrie on its organisation team.  The practical issues need to be faced with feet-on-the-ground advice.  

There's an abundance of difficult questions to be asked and answered concerning a university for Hereford.  Through the auspices of the Hereford Journal and working together, we'll help guide our aspirant undergraduates to a tailor-made university on their doorstep - after we have found answers from NUH itself on this page.

Alan F Harrison (Prof, ret'd)

Ross-on-Wye                                or    and then via Updates





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