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At a special meeting of the Faculty of Life Sciences (FLS) on Wednesday 21 January 2010 we were given some details of the Faculty finances. There was a widespread feeling at the meeting that we still didn’t know enough to discuss sensibly the justice, or otherwise, of the setting up of a committee to consider academic redundancies for FLS (but for no other faculty). I therefore sought to understand better the problems by sending the following letter to UCL’s Director of Finance.

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This document is an attempt to summarise our success or otherwise of undergraduate teaching in the Division of Life Sciences. At this time of financial difficulty we need to remind ourselves that we already invest much less in teaching than do our competitors – and that this is reflected by external assessments of our competence and of our attractiveness to students.

The 2010 University rankings from The Guardian based on staff-student ratios, expenditure, job prospects and the like are:

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