January 17, 1997

You report (THES, January 10) that environmental scientists feel that they were done down by the earth scientists in the recent RAE. One test of their allegation is to look at changes in rating of departments from the 1992 results. There are obvious differences in the reporting of the results of the two exercises, but ignoring the splitting of 3 and 5 and leaving out departments that only appear in one RAE, shows the following changes.

In earth sciences the following departments went up: Brunel (1 to 2), Cardiff (3 to 4), Luton (1 to 2), Portsmouth (2 to 3b). The departments that went down were: Birmingham (4 to 3a), Manchester (5 to 4) and St Andrews (3 to 2).

In environmental science the following departments went up: Bradford (2 to 3b), Hertfordshire (2 to 3b), Manchester Metropolitan (2 to 3b), Stirling (2 to 3b). The following went down: Kent (3 to 2), Plymouth (4 to 3a) and Wolverhampton (2 to 1). The 1992 list gave separate ratings for basic and applied science. Two departments could also be considered to have gone down when both ratings are considered: Sunderland (2&3 to 2), Glasgow (3&4 to 3).

It does not seem to me that this shows a bias towards earth science, particularly when you see that the "highest" loser in environmental sciences, Plymouth, seems to have been playing the numbers game as it put in 43.4 staff this time compared with 26.0 in 1992.

Antony Wyatt Institute of earth studies, University of Wales, Aberystwyth

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

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

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns