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Reduce top-down regulations at universities

Comment 9th July 2010

British Academics are among the most regulated in the western world. The government is talking about reducing top-down control and let professionals get on with their work.

How about applying this to universities? The RAE/REF, TQA and QAA require excessive amounts of academic time – actually taking away considerable time and resources from teaching, student contact and research. There are also plenty of unintended consequences which haven't done the sector any good – e.g. the artifically distorted hiring cycles caused by the RAE/REF, artificial, over-complicated administrative procedures introduced to satisfy the QAA, endless monitoring routines which make teachers more timid and teaching less innovative due to the TQA.
Last but not least, there is also a considerable cost to these exercises, both within institutions and nationwide.

Cut the red tape and let academics get on with their work, which ought to be research and teaching – not endless admin.

Why does this matter?

At a time when Higher Education budgets will be cut and students are asked to pay more we simply cannot allow the whole sector to be stifled by so much bureaucracy. Money is essential – but in many areas, just a bit more time and less red tape would make a big difference to research output and the student experience. The Higher Education sector needs every help it can get!

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