Bias inquiry a waste

July 23, 2004

Either the research assessment exercise is an objective assessment of research excellence, and so there can be no inherent sex bias ("Sex bias limits women in RAE", July 16). Or it is a fraudulent exercise manipulated by coteries in their own interests. Then it is probable that there are also sex, race, age, region, subject and other biases. If the latter is true, why do funding councils use it to make funding decisions and encourage universities to do the same?

Either way, an exploration of sex bias in the RAE by the Higher Education Funding Council for England is redundant, another bureaucratic waste of resources.

R. J. Wootton
Llanbadarn Fawr

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