The government wants cutting-edge research so that the United Kingdom stays in the top rank. It promotes the research assessment exercise and qua-lity gets better. Then the higher education minister says she will not pay for the fruits of that toil and implies that existing money should reward research excellence ("Investing in success puts elites in red", THES , November 30).
Although it is impossible to dampen the quest for research reputation, failing to pay for the hard work of the past five years is hardly the best incentive for future improvement.
Department of geography