I am an Oxford University graduate and the son of an Oxford University graduate.

I have known the university as an insider in many ways over the past half-century, but I never thought that I would feel shame to such an extent that, if they had given me a certificate for my MA degree in 1976, I would now want to burn it on the steps of the Sheldonian.

Here we have an institution whose infrastructure is burnished bright, whose entertainments and pageantry are positively lavish, many of whose colleges are immensely wealthy in their own right, and whose chancellor never seems to speak about anything else than raising money, now announcing a virtual tripling of tuition fees.

Apparently this is being done because to charge less than the maximum fee would erode the university’s image of commitment to excellence.

Is this the institution which provides so many wise economic advisers to successive governments?

Using this logic, every supplier to the university should now triple its charges, otherwise the university would not feel confident that it was receiving an excellent service from them.

And here’s another thing. In these straitened times, where is the university’s sense of corporate social responsibility?

While squeezing every last penny from its undergraduates and bombarding its graduates with increasingly strident begging letters printed on premium gauge paper, it seems to show precious little concern for the community in which it is based.

For instance, at a time when local libraries are under threat, I have read not one word of protest from any university source. Yet a decade hence, the university will be quick to squawk if the closure of libraries has contributed to a decline in the educational standard of its applicants.

Each college has individual playing fields and pavilions, yet these do not seem to be used for much of the year, despite being in prime sites. Perhaps someone can correct me, but I have not heard of these, or any other university facility, being offered for the use of the local community.

I should be pleased to know in what respects the university is ‘in this together’ with the rest of us. Or is it too high-minded to care about those outside its gates?

I was fortunate enough to study classics and remember the words of Juvenal: “omne vitium in praecipiti stat” – every vice stands on the edge of a cliff.

Think about it.

Martin Roberts, Stone Close, Botley, Oxford