Devil’s in the REF

April 7, 2016

The language of the “philosophy of education” that Alis Oancea talks about is all very well (“Challenging the grudging consensus behind the REF”, 25 March), but I submit that the continual surrender of moral and intellectual territory to the research excellence framework has created a situation in which people are appointed to unadvertised posts, postgraduates are given one- or two-year contracts, and the teaching of Sanskrit is regarded as a dangerous and expensive luxury.

The REF publishes no accounts: it is a self-promoting oligarchy. The Arts and Humanities Research Council recently decided to abandon any attempt to preserve the results of its distribution of gravy, and pulled the plug on almost every funded editorial project, most of which remain unfinished. To pretend, in these circumstances, that all is for the best, and to clothe that pretence in Eurobabble, is to join the devil’s party. I suggest that collaboration with the enemy, even if it saves your children, is always wrong, and that in a public sphere, to conceal the truth for the greater good is Jesuitical and worthy of the standards of the CIA.

Charles Hedges
Via timeshighereducation.com


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

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
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Felipe Fernández-Armesto takes issue with a claim that the EU has been playing the sovereignty card in Brexit negotiations

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

John McEnroe arguing with umpire. Tennis

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman explain how to negotiate your annual performance and development review

Man throwing axes

UCU attacks plans to cut 171 posts, but university denies Brexit 'the reason'

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald