The Political Studies Association (PSA) deplores the threat to politics provision at the University of Liverpool. Any proposal to close a department and end politics degrees in perpetuity on the basis of a solitary below-average result in the research assessment exercise seems excessively harsh and short-sighted.
Politics has grown rapidly over the past decade, reflected in national Universities and Colleges Admissions Service figures and specifically the large number of students (about 350) based in Liverpool's School of Politics and Communication Studies.
There is considerable disagreement over the value of RAE league tables in politics, which are liable to rapid fluctuation. The leading departments today are not those of 20 or even 10 years ago, and rapid turnaround is possible. The PSA urges Liverpool to rescind any threat of closure to the school and to engage in discussions with staff about the alternatives.
Vicky Randall, Chair, Political Studies Association.