About

Hello, I am Jim Aitken, lecturer at Cambridge. I am one of many concerned about the future of Higher Education in the UK. One of the serious threats is that to the quality and independence of excellent research, if we are forced to consider its immediate, quantifiable impact. I do not claim to understand every issue in the debate, but wish to keep it a live issue, keeping track of discussions, raising questions, gathering feedback from others. Feel free, to write, subscribe, and participate.

To contact me, leave a comment on this post.

I repeat here the text of my first post:

After much debate and lobbying, The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) have (unsurprisingly)  confirmed that 25% (and then reduced to 20%) weighting will be given to the ‘Wider Impact of Research’ in the assessment of research excellence. Impact does not include intellectual impact on other scholars or on students through our teaching

This has particular consequences for Humanities, but also has implications for research in some Sciences and Social Sciences. Many feel the battle has been lost, and ‘impact’ is here to stay. It may well be, and it does from a government perspective give a measurable assessment of research. But the effects it will have on the quality and nature of UK research, on the appointments at Universities, and on our worldwide status, could be devastating.

This blog, by an ordinary University lecturer, is intended to keep the issue as a debate and not as something that we must accept. Send me suggestions for ways we can continue to analyse, discuss, evaluate and campaign against what impact is. Let us not give up the fight. Help preserve high quality research whatever its focus.

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