One side-effect of the debate over research assessment is to add to the turbulence surrounding the various institutional groupings.
Just as Universities UK has found it difficult to represent a set of institutions with radically different agendas, the pressure groups that have formed within it are subject to similar strains. Even the apparently homogenous Campaigning for Mainstream Universities group is finding that some of its members want to strike out in a different direction. Some repositioning - and perhaps also the establishment of yet another grouping - is natural at a time of such uncertainty. But even the smallest alliances involve some compromises and no one would gain from an ever-shifting landscape of powerless lobbying groups.