But what really struck me was a passage towards the end where Moorhead describes meeting her former supervisor Adrian Leftwich, who still lectures at York:
one of Leftwich's colleagues, electronics lecturer Ken Todd, monitored the maths performance of first-year electronics students between 1989 and 2004, and found that an A-grade achiever in 2004 would have been down towards the bottom of the class 15 years earlier.
No wonder that York, like many other UK universities, now runs remedial classes in basic skills for students who know their stuff on their specialist subject, but don't make the basic grade for numeracy and literacy.
"One thing you notice about essays these days is that many students simply haven't got the fundamental writing skills that almost all had in your day," says Leftwich.Every year when record A level results are announced, Liberal Democrat bloggers ridicule anyone who suggests this may be because examinations have got easier rather. But in the face of such evidence that looks the most convincing explanation. Particularly as York remains one of the most sought after universities.