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Universities do need better industry links


I was interested to read Abbie Massie's letter (NCE 6 July) which partly attributed low pay in civil engineering to the relevance of university courses.

As a civil engineering lecturer I am interested in delivering good quality courses to students which adequately prepare them for work in the profession. I do have links with consultants, but these links do not necessarily address issues such as how to improve overall learning from the employers' point of view.

Nowadays graduate jobs are very varied and the portfolio of skills needed to do them is becoming less and less predictable. I would therefore value having the closer links which Abbie talks about, possibly even having some formal body tasked with fostering these links and encouraging feedback from employers to universities.

Dr Steve Mitchell (G), lecturer in hydraulics, School of the Environment, University of Brighton, Cockcroft Building, Lewes Road, Brighton BN2 4GJ

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