"It's history - but not as we know it," was the Higher Education Funding Council for England's verdict on a shock story from the magazine History Today, to be published next month: "This year's controversial assessment exercise of teaching quality in Britain's universities has been given a broad thumbs down by historians," trumpets the journal's flyer. "Criticism of the Higher Education Founding Council's teaching quality assessment exercise carried out this spring was widespread and fierce . . . and intriguingly the quality assessment was almost as unpopular with those who were the winners from the exercise as those who received poorer results."
Intriguing indeed. Particularly since the last teaching quality assessment exercise on history was carried out not this year, but in 1993.
A HEFCE spokesman said: "They appear to have got their dates wrong. As a story, it's history."