Hefce taken to task 1

July 8, 2005

The suggestion that institutions might "gamble in the last-chance saloon" ("Funding councils unveil new submissions criteria", July 1) at the next research assessment exercise by citing in their submission "publications" that have not appeared is reckless and reprehensible.

If a submission contains items that have not appeared by the RAE publication deadline, those items will not count, and their inclusion could even be construed as fraudulent. It is absurd that RAE 2008 should have a publications deadline later than the submission deadline: the former needs to be at least one month before the submission deadline - the Higher Education Funding Council for England should revise the RAE timetable immediately.

The council has been aware of this anomaly for at least six months. Hefce's refusal to rectify it does it no credit.

Steve Giles
Nottingham University

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