Colleges and businesses should work together

In reply to Bill Barr (Letters, DW 21 May), I would ask him if he has ever been on the professional side of the relationship. As a graduate in product design now working for a branded manufacturing company, I am deeply committed to working with universities and colleges across all disciplines relevant to our business.

I believe that collaborative projects of all types go a long way to improving the student’s understanding of the consumer and the requirements of a rapidly evolving marketplace.

But, has Barr ever tried to contact a member of staff, head of college, dean or tutor in an educational establishment? Arranging meetings can be exasperating and fruitless, voice mail seems unheard of, and message taking non-existent. If we were to run our business in this way, we would be out of business within weeks.

For me, the final straw was persuading a previous employer to sponsor a group of courses at my old alma mater. This sponsorship, valued at about £100 000, fell on stony ground when the head of college decided to cancel an introductory meeting with the managing director three times, much to the frustration of the course leaders.

Richard Eagleton

Managing director

James Sadler

Staffordshire ST6 4AZ

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