Transparent sexism

October 22, 2004

A number of universities seem blissfully unaware that the Higher Education Funding Council for England has issued a code of practice for submissions for the 2008 research assessment exercise that requires institutions "to confirm that they have developed and applied an internal code of practice in preparing submissions and in selecting staff for inclusion in these". Staff must be shown the code to prove institutions "are expected to respect principles of equality of opportunity in constructing RAE outcomes".

A recent Association of University Teachers report found that just nine of the 117 institutions in its study offered women equal research opportunities and that 19 per cent of all female academics were included in the 2001 RAE compared with 37 per cent of men.

It is time our universities took equal opportunities seriously and eradicated the institutionalised sexism that the RAE only magnifies.

June Purvis
Portsmouth University

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