James Shaw writes in the Spectator that he left a University Theology course at an institution he assures us was in the top ten because he was under worked and under stimulated- because he saw students around him doing little work and felt that it wasn't worth his time to acquire a degree. Whilst gracchi has considerable sympathy for any student beginning at university and finding the support less than they had at school, I feel some sympathy with those who want to be stretched. But British Universities might not provide the courses, but they do especially at the higher level provide the facilities. There is no difficulty for a person like Mr Shaw to acquire books, to find and meet postgraduates, to even attend seminars and lectures, which will stimulate their mind. Indeed learning off the syllabus at university is one of the pleasures of going there- historians can learn about Feynman, physicists about Gibbon, English Students about Wittgenstein and philosophers can savour Jane Austen. Given that Mr Shaw says that he was not stretched he could have taken that approach further: instead of dropping out because he was too good for the institution concerned. Mr Shaw underrates informal learning and overrates formal learning- if you don't feel a lecturer tells you enough- don't desert academia but get out into the library Mr Shaw and read and read and read.