Sunday, May 05, 2013

REF and other dangerous animals

Excellent comments , among many such, in piece on the harmful effects of REF in the Grauniad:

"For my money, the real issue is managerialism. Senior administrators decide everything now - not academics. And, unsurprisingly, they favour simple metrics (journal ranking lists and student satisfaction surveys) because they have neither the time, knowledge nor desire to actually engage with the content of research or teaching.
The ABS List used in business schools is an example here, it hasn't been updated since 2010 (prior to that it was updated pretty much every year). Why? Not because there's been no change in journal rankings but because research administrators couldn't plan effectively with a changing list. The result is that people are being rewarded for publishing in top journals which - possibly are no longer top journals - but this doesn't matter because administration is the name of the game. Likewise, in my experience as a lecturer "good teaching" means no complaints and a decent score on student evaluation forms. Everyone knows that these forms are stupid and any real feedback isn't contained in an average score out of five but is in the qualitative feedback to open questions. Because these are too hard to quantify the get thrown in the bin unread.
So the question is why have academics given universities over to "managers"?"

For the whole  article, with interesting quotes from some universities which made Pangloss actually LOL, see here.

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