Your report on SARTOR (NCE 30 September) suggests that a course intake of 40 is the critical factor - this is not true. The key issue is the average class size.
In the Integrated School of Engineering established at Aston, our former departmental system having been eliminated three years ago, we are able to achieve this through considerable amounts of common teaching. We provide accredited (BEng and MEng) engineering programmes in all key disciplines and related areas so our total intake is some 300 students. While they are not taught in such a large group, the economies of scale mean that individual intakes are lesscritical than the total intake.
Integrated teaching brings additional benefits to the students, as identified in SARTOR 3, by exposing them to a range of disciplines and encouraging team-based activities.
Professor RJ Kettle (M), Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET