LETTER: How can our college be classed as a business?

West Notts College
West Notts College

I read with interest the news that Dame Asha Khemka, principal of West Notts College in Mansfield, has been awarded the title of Asian Business Women of the Year.

I did have to re-read the article in the Chad as I was taken aback to see the word ‘business’ in the award.

I cannot see how an educational institution could be classified as a business, it seems a contradiction in terms in my opinion. Surely West Notts provides a community service for the people of Mansfield and district. Associating the word ‘business’ with our college infers, in my view, that financial matters take precedence over learning. I hope that this is not the case. 
I note that Ofsted has recently rated West Notts College as ‘good’, as opposed to ‘outstanding’. This leads me to question the assertion made by the college that it is one of the leading establishments in the world of post 16 education, and that senior staff were fully justified in receiving very high salaries.

If West Notts is being run as a business nowadays, perhaps it ought to instigate a system of payment by results.

I note that the college is now offering degree courses at Derby Road. I feel that it is important that the staff have sufficient teaching expertise and learning resources to support this new venture. It is a sad fact that most employers will look at the reputation of the place of study when selecting graduates to work for them. People awarded degrees by West Notts will be competing for employment with other graduates leaving highly thought of places like the universities of Nottingham and Sheffield, to say nothing of Oxbridge.

Sam Ellis

Welbeck Street, Mansfield