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April 26, 1996

How sure can we be that the Higher Education Funding Council for England is heading in the right direction with its plans for teaching and research?

A question worth asking after the adventures of Bahram Bekhradnia, HEFCE's policy director and architect of the Research Assessment Exercise, en route to the funding council's annual conference in Telford last week.

After travelling from Oxford to Birmingham, he boarded what he fondly imagined to be the connection for Shropshire - only to realise shortly afterwards that he was heading for Coventry, the direction from which he had come. A signal failure in line management, surely?

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