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THE Letters

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Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday. We reserve the right to edit all contributions. Authors can expect to receive an email version of their letter for correction of fact, but not length, on Monday. Please provide a daytime telephone number. Letters published will, along with the rest of the publication, be stored electronically and republished in derivative versions of Times Higher Education on computer networks and elsewhere unless the author specifically refuses permission for us to do so.

An effective response to a dystopian vision Subscription

21 May 2015

What does the recent general election result presage for UK higher education? It means a continuation of recent course and speed, namely: removing the tuition fee cap, thus further stratifying the sector…

On the gender agenda Subscription

21 May 2015

I am grateful to Times Higher Education for running the brilliant article on gender imbalance, and to Amanda Goodall and Margit Osterloh for writing a balanced piece that addresses both the causes of and solutions to the lack of female leadership within academia

Right to remain silent Subscription

21 May 2015

Recently there have been two articles in Times Higher Education about the Quality Assurance Agency keeping details of review appeals secret. When the QAA’s offices were refurbished, walls were retained only where absolutely necessary…

The OU is closing doors Subscription

21 May 2015

Last year, the East Grinstead regional centre that served the South East was removed from the Open University map. Under new proposals, the OU’s regional structure will be reduced further

EU benefits without club tie Subscription

21 May 2015

The UK’s universities indeed benefit from European research funding. But this funding is not dependent on membership of the European Union

Oxford libraries in disrepair Subscription

21 May 2015

Like any loyal graduate of the University of Oxford, I was delighted to see that its current big fundraising drive has been so successful. I was even more delighted to see that it intends to spend some of the money on…

A toast to Soviet science Subscription

21 May 2015

PeteinBlack is convinced that “the managerialist regime inside many universities is worryingly similar to aspects of the Soviet Union”. If only it were so

They smashed his vote! Subscription

21 May 2015

Surely Mr Ted Odgers, candidate for Smash the Bosses, Poppleton West, should demand a rerun of the ballot

National examination would benefit medics Subscription

14 May 2015

“Are universities losing control of what they teach to medical students?” asks John Cookson. It is a legitimate question. However, his analysis omits some important considerations

Open up MPs’ closed shop Subscription

14 May 2015

Nine out of 10 new MPs in the House of Commons are graduates, 26 per cent hold an Oxbridge degree and 28 per cent went to another Russell Group university. More troubling for me, however, is the lack…

Measures to REFer to Subscription

14 May 2015

The suggestion to rank institutions according to quality-related funding per staff member submitted to the research excellence framework is problematic, and not only because some research fields are much more expensive than others

Soviet administrators Subscription

14 May 2015

Rob Briner’s article on the misapplication of private sector human resources techniques in universities lucidly characterises the regime of micromanagement and constant monitoring (bordering on bullying) of academics…

Apples and oranges Subscription

14 May 2015

I cannot see how the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (Ahelo) project could realistically test learning outcomes in tertiary education, given the sector’s heterogeneity

Exam problems Subscription

14 May 2015

I was interested in the study into inconsistent marking, in particular that the examiners awarded “hugely inconsistent marks” and that “a large element of unreliability” would always remain in assessment

Teledons say ‘eh oh’ Subscription

14 May 2015

Michael Stewart, professor of social anthropology and vice-dean for enterprise and knowledge transfer at University College London, says that universities are deadly conservative, are not nearly as socially inclusive as they should be…

Inexcusable sexism calls for action Subscription

7 May 2015

The sexist nature of the peer review comments…that were offered in response to Fiona Ingleby and Megan Head’s Plos One journal submission on gender inequality in the life sciences has been met with a roar of public outrage

Accounting by Aslan Subscription

7 May 2015

Your financial health check of universities showed that the sector reported net assets “excluding pension liabilities” of an impressive £40 billion at July 2014. The financial fairies have obviously taken care of our £5 billion pension liabilities so we needn’t worry

Stand and deliver Subscription

7 May 2015

Shahidha Bari should count herself lucky that she has an office so that she can pursue her job in quiet and privacy. I have heard on the grapevine that when our local university moves to a new campus, staff may find themselves hot-desking…

See-through review Subscription

7 May 2015

David Colquhoun’s letter “Pressured peers” discussed peer review and some of the reasons why the practice is flawed. PeerJ has been tackling some of the problematic issues of peer review for the past two years by giving…

Headline blues Subscription

7 May 2015

Your Careers Intelligence piece about getting media exposure for one’s scholarly research is right about the “thrill” of seeing one’s research getting headlines in the newspapers, but it would be misleading to suggest that this necessarily helps academic careers

Piercy’s attack is off track Subscription

7 May 2015

Nigel Piercy’s recently reported personal insults about trade unionists seem designed primarily to court controversy and thereby attract publicity

Pension adjustment period Subscription

7 May 2015

We write with reference to the consultation regarding the proposed closure of the Universities Superannuation Scheme’s final salary scheme

Stone-cold loser Subscription

7 May 2015

Rachel Carey’s choice of William Stoner as an example of an academic who might not survive in academia today is unfortunate, because he was a failure in nearly all aspects of his life

Living costs hurt most Subscription

7 May 2015

The story “£6K fee choices: Film, not finance” suggests that about 40 per cent of university applicants might select a different course if fees are lowered. Tuition fees are not the key factor in where young people choose to study…

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