Friday, 27 January 2012

A couple of highlights from yesterday's Times Higher

The Times Higher is always a source of amusement. Particular gems this week are Alan Ryan's reporting from a parallel universe where university fees don't seem to exist and discriminating against poor people is laudable ethical practice:
As Stefan Collini of the University of Cambridge once observed, a university place is one of the few things in modern Britain that isn't for sale. Things that weight the odds in an applicant's favour include better schooling, a richer cultural environment, and a home where a child can study in peace. But at the point where an applicant is face to face with an admissions tutor, academic merit is all that counts. I'm not sure such fastidiousness will survive.
Then there is Steve Edwards reporting from a (presumably different) parallel universe in which the problem with UCAS is that it is too responsive to the needs of universities. I think it's fair to say that here on Earth Prime this is not how most of us universities feel about UCAS.

Finally I enjoyed David Shaw's attempt to argue that the fact he can't enter all his articles in the REF is an ethical weakness in the REF process. I think he is arguing that HEFCE is morally obliged to have a policy which favours his interests over those of less productive researchers: it would be really great to see that case made out at greater length.

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