Letter: Just who is Randall kidding?

January 19, 2001

John Randall has some neck to again be firing warning shots at higher education. He leads an organisation that:

* Lacks a proper complaints and appeal procedure

* Has been criticised for confusion and U-turns on the introduction of foundation degrees

* Was criticised by Derby's vice-chancellor for failing to take into account the nature of the university's long-standing partnerships with Israel

* Was criticised elsewhere for an inappropriate handling of Natfhe allegations at Derby

* Condemned validation standards at Thames Valley University; subsequent inspection of records by experts exonerated TVU.

Despite widespread acknowledgement of the fundamental flaws of the TVU report, the QAA continues to promote the special review. It repeatedly claimed that the report was accepted in its entirety by the university to deny the need for an independent investigation. But in fact the university's board of governors had accepted only the recommendations.

In spite of this, the QAA continues to be quick to attack much that is involved in widening participation but slow in contributing to the difficult job of expanding provision with high standards.

Before casting any more stones or asking for yet more powers, why doesn't Randall agree to submit the QAA's track record to the kind of independent review he feels is so important for others?

Andy Ross
Former director
Undergraduate College
Thames Valley University

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