The idea of a teaching equivalent of the research excellence framework is another fine product from the nonsense factory that is higher education policy in the UK (“Teaching REF would lead to time wasted ‘giving tuna sandwiches to assessors’”, www.timeshighereducation.co.uk, 19 June).
It’s already been established that the REF is a bloated, inaccurate and largely unconstructive exercise. Now the Tories want to add a teaching REF? Conducting this boondoggle, with the added complications of measuring the experiences of hundreds of thousands of students rather than the contributions of tens of thousands of researchers, would be just as pointless as the REF, but with the added benefit of being prohibitively expensive.
In any case, much as the REF does now, it would serve as a management tool to flog an overworked and underpaid cohort of academic staff. And lots of administrators will have to be hired who neither teach nor conduct research, the university’s central mission.
It is obviously hypocritical of the government to cut funding, demand efficiency, expect greater performance and seek savings while proposing to introduce an incredibly expensive and time-consuming layer of bureaucratic claptrap that will actively detract from time spent on teaching. Stupid, wasteful, counterproductive and worthless.