Spot the difference 2

January 10, 2003

Great play is made of the fact that universities and colleges are centres of learning and research and that one activity feeds the other. Both need monitoring for quality. But in separating the monitoring mechanisms - the Quality Assurance Agency and the research assessment exercise - education and research come into conflict and both lose out. The challenge for the joint funding bodies' review of research is to look at the university context as a whole, as suggested by Alan Jenkins ("Intellect thrives on diet rich in research", THES , January 3) and in the joint submission to the group by the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and the Learning and Teaching Support Network. Failure to take this broader view will merely be tinkering at the edges.

Alistair R. Fielder
Imperial College London

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