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Governance of higher education in Britain: the significance of the research assessment exercises for the funding council model

Governance of higher education in Britain: the significance of the research assessment exercises for the funding council model
Governance of higher education in Britain: the significance of the research assessment exercises for the funding council model
This article uses the political struggles that have enveloped the research assessment exercises (RAEs) to interpret the UK’s current funding council model of governance. Ironically, the apparently widespread improvement in the research performance of British universities, as demonstrated by RAE 2001, has made it more difficult to distribute research income selectively, which was supposedly the central objective of the whole evaluative process. Whilst enhanced research ratings may be seen as a cause for celebration in the universities, the failure to anticipate this outcome and, more significantly, to plan for its financial implications is seen in political circles as a failure of higher education management. The article explores the alternative models of governance that are likely to emerge as a consequence of this crisis and, in particular, whether the fundingcouncils can have much freedom of action, given the tighter political control of policy goals and their critical dependence upon the academic profession for the conduct of the evaluative process.
higher education, models, governance, politics, evaluation methods, tesearch universities, research projects, research administration, resource Allocation
0951-5224
4-30
Tapper, Ted
21b71ec2-daeb-4338-b8aa-4b798b3a8987
Salter, Brian
db1536c6-ec50-490c-a59d-d664f1b15599
Tapper, Ted
21b71ec2-daeb-4338-b8aa-4b798b3a8987
Salter, Brian
db1536c6-ec50-490c-a59d-d664f1b15599

Tapper, Ted and Salter, Brian (2004) Governance of higher education in Britain: the significance of the research assessment exercises for the funding council model. Higher Education Quarterly, 58 (1), 4-30. (doi:10.1111/j.1468-2273.2004.00257.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article uses the political struggles that have enveloped the research assessment exercises (RAEs) to interpret the UK’s current funding council model of governance. Ironically, the apparently widespread improvement in the research performance of British universities, as demonstrated by RAE 2001, has made it more difficult to distribute research income selectively, which was supposedly the central objective of the whole evaluative process. Whilst enhanced research ratings may be seen as a cause for celebration in the universities, the failure to anticipate this outcome and, more significantly, to plan for its financial implications is seen in political circles as a failure of higher education management. The article explores the alternative models of governance that are likely to emerge as a consequence of this crisis and, in particular, whether the fundingcouncils can have much freedom of action, given the tighter political control of policy goals and their critical dependence upon the academic profession for the conduct of the evaluative process.

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Published date: January 2004
Keywords: higher education, models, governance, politics, evaluation methods, tesearch universities, research projects, research administration, resource Allocation

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 45923
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/45923
ISSN: 0951-5224
PURE UUID: de62deea-a3ae-42c6-a530-52565c776cc8

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Date deposited: 26 Apr 2007
Last modified: 27 Oct 2023 21:32

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Contributors

Author: Ted Tapper
Author: Brian Salter

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