You do it my way

February 19, 2015

Source: Knwwsss

“I can’t say I’ve ever heard of this particular university, but it certainly seems to have the right idea when it comes to putting academics in their place.”

That was how Brian Bryan, our Deputy Head of REF Strategy, responded to the news that Glasgow Caledonian University had instructed all its academics to focus their research on the priorities that had been selected by the university as the ones most likely to attract funding.

Academics who did not align with the priorities – inclusive societies, healthy lives and sustainable environments – would, according to Mike Mannion, Glasgow Caledonian’s pro vice-chancellor for research, not only get “less financial support” but also less “emotional support”.

Mr Bryan told The Poppletonian that this Glasgow Caledonian strategy was “one giant step” towards the vitally important goal of ensuring that all academic research was based on its likely economic outcome rather than on the “essentially romantic notion” that it should relate in some way to an academic’s own research interests.

He was, however, “mildly alarmed” by Professor Mannion’s further declaration that “if people start to do some research in areas that aren’t aligned with the major challenges and themes, we have not said ‘you can’t do it’.”

This concession, said Mr Bryan, was “dangerously reminiscent” of the “woolly-minded liberalism” that characterised universities in “the bad old days of intellectual freedom”.


Extremist threat

Bike shed

Poppleton’s thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has told reporter Keith Ponting (30) that he sees no place on our campus for the “dangerous extremists” from the Fractionals for Fair Play Group (FFFP).

Targett described the group’s demand for more pay for graduate teaching assistants as “essentially anachronistic” in that it dated back to a time when teaching was a key aspect of university life.

But now that we had moved on to that happy point when, according to David Oldfield, lecturer in the history of art at the University of Cambridge, “a lecturer’s research is seen as more important than a student’s education”, teaching very much sat alongside such other essential but ancillary campus tasks as covered-way maintenance and bicycle shed management.

A spokesperson for the Bicycle Shed Management team later described Targett’s words as “unnecessarily demeaning”.


BSc Honours: Economics and Related Studies


Part One: Finals Paper

Critically evaluate the causal relationships between the following statements

1. Former London Metropolitan University vice-chancellor Malcolm Gillies has been paid £159K “in lieu of notice” after leaving his job early.

2. Universities collectively spent more than £36 million on student marketing in 2012-13, a 33 per cent rise on 2010-11.

3. England has easily the most expensive university tuition fees in the whole of Europe.

4. A new independent estimate puts the total cost of the recent REF at more than £1.6 billion.

5. The lunatics are running the asylum.


Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

Our guest speaker in this week’s human relationship seminar will be Dr Strabismus of Utrecht University, who will consider the ontological and epistemological significance of patterns of dominance and submission in earlier periods of erotogenic history. Please apply now, marking your application: ‘Spanks for the memory’

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

Please login or register to read this article.

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most commented