No to teaching ghetto 1

July 11, 2003

When I mentioned the white paper's denial of the link between research and teaching to a US colleague, he said: "Look at the National Science Foundation review criteria."

There are two criteria for this major source of US research funding: "intellectual merit" and "broader impacts". The second covers: promoting teaching, training and learning; widening participation; enhancing the infrastructure for research and education; broad dissemination; and benefits to society. The document, available at www.nsf.gov/pubs/2001/nsf012/nsf0102_3.html , states that one of the NSF's principal strategies "is to foster integration of research and education, infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives".

The UK should follow this lead. Good-quality research activity should be as widespread as possible, not concentrated in a few institutions.

Peter Barrett
Pro vice-chancellor for research and graduate studies
University of Salford

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