Letter: Researchers aren't the only elite 3

November 30, 2001

The possibility of research funding going to university departments rated 4, 5 and 5* offers a bleak future for those senior female academics who aspire to undertake and manage research - especially given the situation in Europe ("EU still failing to promote women", THES, November 23).

Most female professors in the UK are in the new universities, which receive little of the research funding. As few women with research expertise are represented on committees that allocate funds, the proposal will further limit their and other under-represented groups' access to and control over research policy and practice.

The development of ideas and knowledge is inhibited if it depends on only a small elite sector of society.

Barbara Humberstone
Professor in sociology of leisure
Buckinghamshire Chilterns
University College

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