While I agree with some of the points made by Andy Link in his letter entitled "I know something you don't" (21 February, page 34), my experience of study at Nottingham Trent University appears to have been the complete opposite of his.
I, too, was a student representative. My course was postgraduate but I found that the programme of study was constantly under review to suit changes in the industry and in housing and planning policy. Student feedback was one of the most important issues for the administrators of this course. Several lecturers were involved at the cutting edge of industry, generally with their own businesses, and there was no evidence of a gulf between academic work and the "real world".

I did find that, even with the support of the House Builders Federation, the industry seemed unwilling to tell the university what it perceived to be relevant course content, and that many of the major housebuilders showed little interest in putting staff through the programme. Still, I came away from three years' study having learned more about the industry than in the previous 15 years. Although part-time postgraduate study coupled with full-time employment is not exactly "exciting and vibrant", personally, it has proved extremely worthwhile, and I would repeat the experience.