November 25, 2008

A public enquiry into the working practices of universities

The question I would ask after my experiences in a prestigious research university is whether the public would agree that universities should continue to be autonomous bodies?

I would suggest a public enquiry... as a growing body of research and surveys (both internal and external) are raising very serious concerns about the state of affairs in our universities... with regard to working practices...

...there is a feeling that things are getting out of control...

Aphra Behn
The only problem with this wish is that the government and bodies such as HEFCE will find out how much money is wasted... and they will have to hold some HEIs accountable... we can dream...

From the HEFCE web site - but please don't laugh (we are being sarcastic):

Our vision is that higher education institutions should have such excellent governance and management processes that they can easily demonstrate to their stakeholders, including HEFCE, proper accountability for the use of public funds... The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) distributes public money for teaching and research to universities and colleges. In doing so, it aims to promote high quality education and research, within a financially healthy sector. The Council also plays a key role in ensuring accountability and promoting good practice.

It is their 'vision'... we suspect that HEFCE is also part of the problem... after all, who runs HEFCE...

Members of the HEFCE board:

Alastair Balls, CB Chairman, Centre for Life
Rob Douglas, CBE Business Advisor, Douglas Associates Ltd.
Jackie Fisher, CBE Principal, Newcastle College
Dame Patricia Hodgson Principal, Newnham College, Cambridge
René Olivieri Former Chief Executive, Blackwell Publishing
Professor Peter Rubin Division of Therapeutics, University of Nottingham
Ed Smith Senior partner PricewaterhouseCoopers (retired)
Ann Tate Vice-Chancellor, University of Northampton
Professor Paul Wellings Vice-Chancellor, University of Lancaster
Professor Dianne Willcocks Vice-Chancellor, York St John University
Professor Tim Wilson Vice-Chancellor, University of Hertfordshire

We spoke with a friend last night... the prominent professor is having a breakdown because the prominent Uni is wasting a fortune on fighting him/her... this is after the prof. was excluded from RAE... the ritual continues... universities are not accountable to anybody... nobody... and so we fight on... it is high culture to expect anyone of these bastards to understand or comprehend the impact of workplace bullying upon the targets, to acknowledge the damage it causes...


Anonymous said...

You are so much more right than you know. The whole system is in-bred and corrupt. I can testify that a person who sits on the HEFCE board (as per the list posted) conducted an in-house investigation that led to my stitch-up and pending elimination ritual.

Anonymous said...

Sir Peter Scott, vice-chancellor at Kingston University is a recent former HEFCE Board member.

Need we say more?

Anonymous said...

... not accountable? a Professor at a reputable university and a recipient of the Brian Mercer Award for Innovation uses his PhD students to do work relating to the commercialisation of his invention but claims in the annual PhD reviews, sent to the Dean of the faculty, that the students did work of academic quality. He then asks one specialist researcher, towards the end of the PhD student's research, to act as a co-supervisor. This gives him the incentive to include the specialist researcher's own work in the PhD student's theses. He spreads the academic work done among the PhD students. An old story, No?!

Did the PhD students develop the right skills? No!