Pillorying of Exeter

October 6, 1995

Several questions are raised by the unfortunate pillorying of Exeter University's MA course in English on your front page (THES, September 29). Clearly the administrative systems governing these courses left much to be desired. Moreover, it is always possible for a team of quality assessors to meet with disgruntled students, especially if these students have been kept waiting for delayed exam results.

What was missing from your article, and presumably from the assessors' report, was any attempt to reassure recent and forthcoming Exeter MA graduates that the quality of their work, and of their teachers, is as high as any in the country - for so it is. (The fact that two of the criticised courses have been discontinued may be as much due to recent personnel changes as to the university's response to quality assessment.) Looking at the nationwide results of the assessments in English, it seems obvious that a different team of assessors on a different day might well have rated the programmes concerned as satisfactory or even excellent. Just how good are the administrative systems governing quality assessment itself? And was Exeter guilty of failure to teach its MA courses to other universities' standards, or merely of a failure in managing and preparing for its assessment visit?

Patrick Parrinder

Professor of English, Reading University

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

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
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

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