Poverty of vision pays well (1 of 2)

January 19, 2012

Call me a desiccated husk if you like, but vice-chancellors all have the same vision - and it invariably comes to nothing ("V-cs, it might be time for us to have a talk about a pay review", 12 January).

The vision is this: to raise their university's position in some league table or another. If their institution is currently in the top 20, their vision is for it to be in the top 10; if it's top 10, then the vision is for a top-five spot. And that's it.

The strategy is pretty much the same as that used by Barclays Premier League football clubs: buy in as many star players as you can afford.

The results are pretty much the same, too: the star players fail to perform, the league tables remain as they always have been and there is no change at all by the time the vice-chancellors' terms come to an end.

Are there any vice-chancellors out there who care to dispute my admittedly oversimplified analysis? No? Thought not.

Name and address withheld

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