Harvard Business school building in Cambridge Massachusetts USA
Harvard in particular has lost the script © Getty

Camilla Cavendish’s criticism (April 4) of universities pleading for a bailout, while true, underestimates the greatest lubricant for upward mobility in the world: higher education.

Universities, particularly in the US, and namely the one at which Camilla is a senior fellow (Harvard), have absolutely lost the script and are operating more like luxury brands than institutions. The current shift to online classes due to the global lockdown calls for an immediate increase in the number of seats at these institutions and serious consequences (taxation) to endowments that don’t increase their seats faster than the rate of inflation.

Stanford University has tripled the number of applicants since 2000 and is yet to increase its freshman seats at all. Harvard University, with a $40bn endowment, could double its freshman class without sacrificing any quality.

Leonidas Kalai
London E1, UK

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