Teaching REF is a bad joke

June 25, 2015

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.

Adrian Demos
Via timeshighereducation.co.uk

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

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

But the highest value UK spin-off companies mainly come from research-intensive universities, latest figures show