Meanwhile, one of the most insightful ideas yet to emerge from the increasingly protracted debate over how to assess research was unveiled at the UCU conference.
One academic who was questioned for his views on how to allocate research funds proposed a hundred-yard dash by university vice-chancellors.
"At least you would have a use for a vice-chancellor; at long last, you'd be able to select on a rational basis," he mused. "And you might get rid of a few each time."
Treasury mandarins are developing models as we speak.