In his post on the Boat Race and University Obstacle, Richard Williams explains Darwin College, Cambridge, as someplace “they do not teach anybody you would instantly recognize on the street as a college student” (River of dreams: Cracknell is a great Boat Race story but should we allow age to eclipse youth?, 9 April).
Leaving aside the numerous 22- and 23- year-olds studying here who might raise an eyebrow at that recommendation, certainly this variety is something to be commemorated? Speaking as somebody whose own research study was disrupted by numerous years’ illness, I have actually discovered Darwin– and the higher breadth of backgrounds and experiences represented here– to be without a doubt the most inviting and encouraging neighborhood in the university. I make certain that the numerous trainees here who have actually taken time out for comparable factors, or to begin households, or just to go back to study after working would likewise concur.
Possibly the genuine concern isn’t that the age profile of some trainee rivals has altered, however that Mr Williams’ concept of what a trainee should appear like has not? While reporting on Oxbridge continues to concentrate on the shenanigans of a small subset of British 18- to 20- year-olds, it deserves keeping in mind that over 40% of trainees at Cambridge are living peaceful, hectic, and relatively uninteresting lives as postgraduate scientists. No surprise we’re proficient at tests.
Darwin College, Cambridge
• I constantly eagerly anticipate checking out Richards Williams, however discovered his post “River of dreams” extremely frustrating. My riposte, as a 72- year-old undergrad who in 2015 directly missed out on choice for my organization’s University Challenge group, will be to attempt even harder this year.
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