Devaluing our talent

August 6, 1999

I read with great interest that John Randall's Quality Assurance Agency's office salary budget has been increased to Pounds 129,000 (THES, July 23). I have recently been appointed to the QAA's benchmarking team for English, and just a couple of weeks ago I felt like poor Oliver Twist asking for more. The preliminary documentation for our first meeting with a QAA representative contained no mention of expenses. When the issue was raised, we were told that Mr Randall had deemed expenses "inappropriate". Perhaps we all should have resigned on the spot, and perhaps we academics have only ourselves to blame when we take on external administration and monitoring, or any kind of consultancy, without some payment. We are devaluing the worth of our own professional talents.

Kate Wales, University of Leeds

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