THE GARRICK committee, Dearing's Scottish arm, has shown an "alarming" capacity to look in both directions at once, according to the Association of University Teachers Scotland.
The AUTS stresses that it broadly welcomes the report, but is concerned by some of its recommendations. Garrick's conclusion that there is an encouraging proportion of young staff has been based on data which does not distinguish between permanent and fixed-term posts, and teaching or research. But "large numbers of the younger generation are on short, insecure contracts and may not be part of the academic teaching staff".
Garrick recommends that research should be centralised and collaborative, but the AUTS says this should also cover jobs, with institutions pooling funds from contracts to allow for permanent appointments. Garrick has not made the case for its proposed three-year bachelors degree, the AUTS says, and more research is needed to find out whether employers, and therefore students, would want it. Its cost and educational rationale in comparison to the four-year honours degree also need to be investigated. However much extra funding emerges after Garrick, it cannot compensate for the impending 6 per cent funding cut for next year, the AUTS warns.
Leader, page 15