Flaws in case for pay by region

September 8, 2000

Unless professors of economics get recycled around Britain like a junk bond, it is hard to imagine that they (or any universal man) should have an equally sound grasp of what a pound might buy in Warwick and Guildford and Swansea and Newcastle.

From a North British perspective, it is clear that any definition of what a pound might buy is problematic, not to mention the question of who has the pound in their pocket and whether it is a refugee coupon or a real pound.

It is cheaper to buy a flat in Glasgow than in London, but not always cheaper to rent one, and it is cheaper to buy most kinds of food and consumer items in London.

The main reason why North British graduates in my discipline do not work in the Southeast is because the universities of the golden triangle normally appoint from their own and certainly do not, in my experience, shortlist those from North British departments. Perhaps this complacency owes something to an item ignored by Oswald, the London weighting allowance.

If London is too expensive to conduct university activities, the rational economic policy is not to pour in more money but to invest in universities where housing and accommodation are cheaper and relocate the appropriate library and technical resources to them. This not only provides better value but helps regenerate their economies.

Robert Gibbs Renfrew Street, Glasgow

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

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns