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

Send to

Letters should be sent to:
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 6 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

Featured Jobs

Lecturer in University Study Skills UNIVERSITY OF HAFR AL BATIN
Lecturer in English Language UNIVERSITY OF HAFR AL BATIN

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest