Clear need for more clarity

November 27, 2008

My astonishment at the reviews of higher education commissioned by the Government stems not from their unsurprising content but from their extraordinary prose ("Plea to ministers: don't desert us as credit crunch bites", 13 November).

John Denham, the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, should hold a course for their authors. I suggest this be held in a building set in the middle of a large forest. Seminars would consider the prose style of masters of clarity such as George Orwell, Patricia Highsmith and Penelope Fitzgerald. Release would be triggered by high marks in exercises consisting of rewriting pages of these reports in prose that is, in Orwell's phrase, "clear as a windowpane".

Peter Checkland, Emeritus professor of systems, Lancaster University.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns