What is it there for?

July 21, 2006

It was dispiriting to hear that the main talking point at the Higher Education Academy annual conference was the fact that academic staff have to juggle roles ("Juggling staff have crisis of identity", July 7).

Leaving aside the points that this has been happening for at least 20 years and that many other higher education staff (and outside) face the same dilemmas, might there not have been less solipsistic and atomistic concerns to be debated? Perhaps about the nature and purpose of higher education locally, nationally and globally, or the function of teams (academics, managers, administrators, even students) or the value and position of the disciplines themselves in today's world? Perhaps it is the HEA that has a crisis of identity.

Mark Ogden Leeds University

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