Transfers help take teams to top

July 31, 1998

CAN ANYONE explain to me what is wrong with an academic transfer market? Does anyone argue that the transfer market in football, which facilitates the rise of a handful of top clubs, should be scrapped, or that Wigan should compete on the same grounds as Manchester United? Of course not, unless we have given up all hope of winning the European Cup.

The academic transfer market facilitates the transfer of elite academics to elite departments, while ensuring that they are paid more than their colleagues. Only in this way can the United Kingdom hope to have a handful of institutions competing with the best in North America and to have the best talent stay in the country. Those departments that cannot or will not play the game will decline and in many cases will deserve to do so.

Some may argue that the academic market is special. If so, they should spell out why this should shelter them from the competitive forces that are a factor of life for most other professions. This is not to say that the market should be unregulated. Football again provides a precedent for a transfer deadline, which is presumably operated to prevent desperate clubs inflating prices to unsustainable levels.

John Hudson Reader in economics Department of economics and international development University of Bath

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