HEA suspension shameful 1

April 24, 2008

What baleful news that the guardians of the research assessment exercise are being led to do a "Nixon" with the shredder ("Panels ordered to shred all RAE records", 17 April) and that a leading authority on higher educational "improvement tools" must defer to line managers' "clearance" before sharing, in a personal capacity, the fruits of his expert knowledge with the relevant higher education community ("Academics criticise HEA for flouting principles of intellectual freedom", 17 April). It must cause a shudder of despair among all familiar with Karl Popper's great defence in The Open Society and Its Enemies of the intellectual, political and social gains of free, untrammelled critical exchange.

Evidence of yet further betrayal and erosion of such foundational, integral and sustaining principles is sad, bad news indeed.

William Keenan, School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University.

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