Double standards

July 26, 2012

Last month, the Higher Education Funding Council for England issued a piece of advice relating to individual circumstances for the research excellence framework.

On the REF website, Hefce lists a series of frequently asked questions. One asks: "If an individual takes a 'career break' from research, but remains in the higher education sector to undertake a management, administrative or teaching only role, would they be eligible for a reduction in outputs?" The answer: "No. (The number of outputs may be reduced without penalty if the career break involved not working in the...sector and not undertaking academic research.)" This is unjust.

Consider two academics who, for whatever reason, make a temporary move into full-time management roles. The first stays within the academy and is thus expected by Hefce to do just as much research (unpaid and on the side) as someone with a dedicated research role. The second moves outside the sector (for example, secondment into industry) and is not expected to do any research at all during that time. Hefce insists on treating them differently, no matter how similar their day jobs are.

Daniel Hill, Department of philosophy, University of Liverpool

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

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride