Using "a Number of" as a Plural

Although the noun "number" is singular, the phrase "a number of plural noun" indicates that there are more than one thing concerned. Therefore, the verb that follows / precedes should never be singular.

  • There are a number of people who have written about this subject.
  • There is a number of students who have reported problems with the software.
  • A number of  hurdles still have to be overcome.
  • A number of  hurdles still has to be overcome.

    Shouldn't it be "There are a

    Shouldn't it be "There are a number of people who have written about this subject" ?