In scholarship we trust

October 13, 2011

Terence Karran's fascinating article on academic freedom ("Unshackled minds help institutions to conquer the greatest heights", 29 September) is nonetheless missing a crucial concept: trust - trust in academics to do their job to the best of their ability, and thus to deliver all the facets of education identified in the passage Karran quotes from the University of Oxford's strategic plan.

The plan even has the temerity, in this consumerist age, to place scholarly activity at the heart of a university's activities. It goes further by assuming that those best placed not only to deliver but also to understand what scholarly activity is are scholars. It is not necessary to try to design management-speak student-centred statements, because students who attend such institutions will benefit simply from being in an environment led by scholars.

Maybe this is the most important lesson - that universities need to learn to trust their academics simply to do their jobs if they wish to conquer the greatest heights.

Rob Ackrill, Division of economics, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent 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

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

Female professor

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

John McEnroe arguing with umpire. Tennis

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman explain how to negotiate your annual performance and development review

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

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