'Whiners'? No, we are simply doing our job 2

June 24, 2010

I read with interest the article on the League of European Research Universities' argument that European Research Council funding should be doubled ("Less red tape, more euros, research alliance tells EU", 17 June). At a time when universities, particularly in the UK, are being called upon to be more accountable in spending terms, especially when it comes to teaching evaluations, is it not unwise and unrealistic to call for lower standards of accountability?

I accept that nobody wants research to be stifled by bureaucracy, but as Ann Mroz notes in her excellent leader, "can we really, hand on heart, say that higher education deserves to be treated more benevolently?" I would argue that we cannot, whether in terms of balancing funding with teaching or research. The academy and research are essential, but we must view the world with more realism than some would like to.

Jez Harvey, Bangor, Wales.

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