UCL staff support CDBU response

Preamble to UCL Academic and Academic-Related Staff submission, HE Green Paper

We welcome the opportunity to comment on this draft document. As academics in UCL, we wish to respond to respond to the consultation on the HE Green Paper by adding our names to the response from the Council for the Defence of British Universities (CDBU). In the absence of a formal university discussion on the consultation, we find this document provides a good summation of our position.

We highlight our main concerns below.

Part A: Teaching Excellence Framework

  • The large administrative and cost burden of the TEF is large, yet the potential harms it is intended to solve remain less clearly justified
  • Efforts to “game” the TEF results, as we have seen for the REF
  • The TEF is unlikely to be the key determinant of student choice of study, which tends to be subject-based (rather than just university based) and also relies on location and price
  • Questions regarding the proposed fit between these metrics and teaching quality, or measurement validity
  • Questioning the logic that a market might be created in higher education via a government regulatory mechanism given a) the ways in which education differs from a product and b) actual market mechanisms which involve flexible prices in relation to supply and demand

Part B: The Higher Education Sector

We remain concerned about the notion of lowering standards for entry as a provider of education, and anticipate several serious risks:

  • Lowering the bar of what an education provider is and how quickly it might exit the sector raises high potential costs to students that are not adequately addressed
  • Lowering the bar of what an education provider is and how quickly it might exit the sector can do irreparable damage to the UK’s reputation in the world as a global leader with high quality universities
  • The case for acceleration of the approval of new providers is not convincing in proportion to the high risks that such acceleration entails, including the social costs – providers have access to student loans that are funded by UK taxpayers
  • There should be a very clear discussion regarding categories of charitable versus for-profit legal status for institutions

Part C: Higher Education Architecture

This section appears to lower standards for what constitutes existing universities, in relation to the entry of new providers. We are not convinced that this is in the public interest.

  • A decision-making process that is faster but which omits several perspectives, including those who engage daily with students, reduces the quality of student-related decisions
  • Removal of the historic role of the Privy Council is not a decision that should be taken lightly without long-term and careful consideration
  • The elimination of HEFCE raises several potential concerns
  • FOI will be necessary to preserve transparency for students and is in the public interest
  • There is not a specific mechanism outlined here to protect academic freedom

Part D: Research Funding

We note the administrative burden and cost of the REF, and are concerned that the TEF will result in a similar or greater burden and cost to our institutions.

Signed by over 200 UCL academics and academic-related staff, January 2016

Adele K. Fielding, Professor of Haematology, Cancer Institute
J M Cooper, Reader in Neurodegenerative Diseases, Dept of Clinical Neurosciences
Xavier Golay, Professor of MR Neurophysics & Translational Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology
Peter Earley, Professor of Education Leadership and Management, Institute of Education
Benjamin Kaplan, Professor of Dutch History, Dept of History
Richard E. Chandler, Professor, Dept of Statistical Science
Ziheng Yang, R. A. Fisher Professor of Statistical Genetics
Jürg Bähler, Professor, Cancer Institute
Robert West, Professor, Dept of Epidemiology and Public Health
Julia Stegemann, Professor, Dept of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering
Chris McManus, Professor of Psychology and Medical Education
Stephanie Bird, Senior Lecturer in German, Dept of German
Susanne Kord, Professor, Dept of German
Alun Hughes, Professor, Institute of Cardiovascular Science
Carol Vincent, Professor of Sociology of Education, Dept of Education, Practice, and Society
Maria Fitzgerald, Professor of Developmental Neurobiology, Neuroscience, Physiology, Pharmacology
Zoran Milutinovic, Professor, School of Slavonic and East European Studies
Susan Michie, Professor of Health Psychology, Centre for Behaviour Change
Richard Freeman, Senior Lecturer in Research Methods, Institute of Education
Philip Schofield, Professor and Director of the Bentham Project, Faculty of Laws
Sacha Stern, Professor and Head of the Dept of Hebrew and Jewish Studies
Chris Kay, Professor of EPR Spectroscopy, Structural and Molecular Biology
Slavo Radosevic, Professor, School of Slavonic and East European Studies
Peter Sammonds, Professor of Geophysics, Dept of Earth Sciences
Jessica Ringrose, Professor of Sociolofy of Gender and Education, Institute of Education
Lily Kahn, Lecturer, Dept of Hebrew and Jewish Studies
Kenneth Harris, Professor of Quantitative Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology
Phiroze Vasunia, Professor of Greek, Dept of Greek and Latin
Andrew Beale, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, Dept of Chemistry
Francois Balloux, Professor and Director, Genetics Institute
Wendy Bracewell, Professor, School of Slavonic and East European Studies
Paul Mitchell, Professor of Laws, Faculty of Laws
Susan Evans, Professor, Research Dept of Cell and Developmental Biology
Rachel Wilde, Research Officer, Lifelong and Comparative Education, Institute of Education
David Alexander, Professor, Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction
Timothy Mathews, Professor of French and Comparative Criticism, SELCS
Maxine Molyneux, Professor, Institute of the Americas
Bridget Wade, Professor, Dept of Earth Sciences
Tim Cole, Professor, Institute of Child Health
Alun R. Coker, Senior Lecturer, Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research
Erik Arstad, Professor of Radiochemistry, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Dept of Chemistry
Paul Ekins, Professor and Director, Institute for Sustainable Resources
Robin J. McAnulty, Professor of Lung Pathobiology, Respiratory Medicine
Sonu Shamdasani, Professor, School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS)
Sean Wallis, Senior Research Fellow, Survey of English Usage
Kristin Bakke, Senior Lecturer in Political Science, Dept of Political Science
Saladin Meckled-Garcia, Senior Lecturer in Human Rights and Political Theory, Dept of Political Science
Alexander MacRobert, Professor of Photochemistry and Photobiology, Research Dept of General Surgery
Stephen Shennan, Professor of Theoretical Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology
Hugh Goodacre, Teaching Fellow, Dept of Economics
Ralf Schoepfer, Professor, Dept of Neuroscience, Physiology, and Pharmacology
Ian Freestone, Professor of Archaeological Materials and Technology, Institute of Archaeology
Tom Pegram, Lecturer and Deputy Director, Global Governance Institute, Dept of Political Science
Paul Morris, Professor of Comparative Education, Institute of Education
Rosalind Raine, Professor and Head of the Dept of Applied Health Research
Andrew Harris, Senior Lecturer, Dept of Geography
John Wood, Professor of Molecular Neurobiology, Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research
Jane Rendell, Professor, The Bartlett School of Architecture
Martin Fry, Lecturer, Dept of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering
Harry Stopes, PhD Student, Dept of History
David Shanks, Professor and Head, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences
Amanda Williams, Reader, Research Dept of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology
Tim Shallice, Emeritus, Former Founding Director, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
Tony Cline, Course Leader, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences
Roger Booker, Professional Research Tutor, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences
Michael Dean, Senior Teaching Fellow, Speech and Language Therapy
Ian Robinson, Professor and Chair of Physics, London Centre for Nanotechnology
Thomas Wilks, Teaching Fellow, School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS)
Cécile Renaud, Teaching Fellow, School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS)
Jason Peacey, Professor and Head, Dept of History
Geraldine Horan, Senior Lecturer and Head of Dept of German, SELCS
Richard Mole, Senior Lecturer, School of Slavonic and East European Studies
Eleanor Chiari, Teaching Fellow, School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS)
Dilwyn Knox, Professor of Renaissance Studies, SELCS
Thibaut Maus de Rolley, Lecturer in French Renaissance Studies, SELCS
Peter Zusi, Lecturer, School of Slavonic and East European Studies
Alexander Samson, Reader, Dept of Spanish, Portugese and Latin American Studies
Katherine Ibbett, Reader, School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS)
Lee Grieveson, Director of Graduate Research, Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry
Ellen Pilsworth, PhD Student and Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, SELCS
Mark Hewitson, Professor of German History and Politics, SELCS
Andrew Reynolds, Professor of Medieval Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology
Andrew Bevan, Professor of Spatial and Comparative Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology
Mark Altaweel, Reader in Near East Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology
Lois Lee, Research Associate, Institute of Advanced Studies
Marc Esteve, Lecturer in International Public Management, Dept of Political Science
Annie Ring, Lecturer in German, SELCS
Julie Olszewski, Principal Teaching Fellow, Cancer Institute
James Steele, Professor of Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology
Maarten Speekenbrink, Lecturer in Mathematical Psychology, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences
Paul Higgs, Professor of the Sociology of Ageing, Division of Psychiatry
Manuel Arroyo-Kalin, Lecturer in Geoarchaeology, Institute of Archaeology
Ben Campkin, Senior Lecturer, The Bartlett School of Architecture
Geoff Williams, Senior Research Associate, Speech, Hearing and Phonetics
Sherrill Stroschein, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Dept of Political Science
Jenny Head, Professor of Medical and Social Statistics, Epidemeology and Public Health
Stephen Hart, Professor in Molecular Genetics, Institute of Child Health
Andrew Gardner, Senior Lecturer in the Archaeology of the Roman Empire, Institute of Archaeology
Hans Van Wees, Grote Professor of Ancient History, Dept of History
Todd Whitelaw, Professor of Aegean Archeaology, Institute of Archaeology
Paola Ceccarelli, Lecturer in Ancient Greek History, Dept of History
Giuseppe Battaglia, Professor of Molecular Bionics, Dept of Chemistry
George Grimble, Principal Teaching Fellow, Institute of Liver and Digestive Health
Bernhard Rieger, Professor, Dept of History
Jason Davies, Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (CALT)
Ljiljana Marjanovic-Halburd, Senior Lecturer, The Bartlett, Faculty of the Built Environment
Thilo Rehren, Professor, Institute of Archaeology and Director, UCL Qatar
Helen Roberts, Professor of Child Health Research, Institute of Child Health
Ulrike Sommer, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Archaeology
Jeremy Tanner, Professor of Classical and Comparative Art, Institute of Archaeology
Vita Peacock, ESRC Future Leaders Research Fellow, Dept of Anthropology
John Clarke, Librarian, Institute of Child Health
Gary Sawyer, ISD Telecommunications Manager
Alice Elliot, Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow, Dept of Anthropology
Zoltán Biedermann, Senior Lecturer, Dept of Spanish, Portugese and Latin American Studies
Jenny Mindell, Reader in Public Health, Research Dept of Epidemiology and Public Health
Peter J. S. Duncan, Senior Lecturer, School of Slavonic and East European Studies
Sunny Bains, Senior Teaching Fellow, Engineering
Robyn Carston, Professor of Linguistics, Linguistics
Joyce Crick, Senior Lecturer, Dept of German (Retired)
Ibi Fakoya, Research Fellow, Research Dept of Infection and Population Health
James O’Leary, Lecturer, The Bartlett School of Architecture
Diana Salazar, Graduate Teaching Assistant, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit
Michael Edwards, Honorary Professor, The Bartlett School of Planning
Colin Marx, Lecturer in Land Planning and Management, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit
Peg Rawes, Senior Lecturer, The Bartlett School of Architecture
Iain Borden, Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture, The Bartlett School of Architecture
Julian Walker, Senior Lecturer, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit
Adriana Allen, Professor, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit
Louise Gaynor, Manager of Interaction Centre
Chris Brierley, Lecturer in Climate Modelling, Dept of Geography
Andrew Flinn, Reader in Archival Studies and Oral History, Dept of Information Studies
Carlotta Ferrara degli Uberti, Lecturer in Italian History, Dept of Italian, SELCS
Deborah Martin, Senior Lecturer, Dept of Spanish, Portugese and Latin American Studies
Jann Matlock, Senior Lecturer, School of European Languages, Culture and Society
Tim Atkinson, Professor and Principal Research Associate, Dept of Earth Sciences
Peter Guillery, Senior Research Associate, Survey of London, The Bartlett School of Architecture
Rocio Diaz Bravo, Language Coordinator, Dept of Spanish, Portugese and Latin American Studies
Richard Bussmann, Senior Lecturer in Egyptology and Egyptian Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology
Brighid Lowe, Lecturer in Fine Art, The Slade School of Fine Art
Florian Mussgnug, Reader in Italian and Comparative Literature, SELCS
Bill Stephenson, Honorary Senior Lecturer, Dept of Mathematics
Fiona Burns, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Sexual Health & HIV Research
Murray Fraser, Professor and Vice-Dean of Research, The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment
Alexandre Aspan Frediani, Lecturer, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit
Penelope Haralambidou, Senior Lecturer, The Bartlett School of Architecture
Patrick Weber, Senior Lecturer, The Bartlett School of Architecture
Claire Colomb, Reader in Planning & Urban Sociology, The Bartlett School of Planning
Laurent Cadet De Fontenay, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, Student Psychological Service
Tim Levine, Lecturer, Institute of Ophthalmology
Mike Raco, Professor, The Bartlett School of Planning
Barbara Penner, Senior Lecturer, The Bartlett School of Architecture
Bill Sillar, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Archaeology
Carey Young, Lecturer, Fine Art Media, Slade School of Art
Jim Anderson, Alexander Williamson Professor of Chemistry, Dept of Chemistry
Susan Collins, Professor and Director, Slade School of Fine Art
Yeoryia Manolopoulou, Senior Lecturer, The Bartlett School of Architecture
John Sabapathy, Lecture in Medieval History, Dept of History
Maria H. Loh, Reader in History of Art, Dept of History of Art
Yijie Zhuang, Lecturer in Chinese Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology
Harriet Richardson, Research Associate, The Survey of London, The Bartlett School of Architecture
Annie Herbert, PhD Student, Institute of Child Health
Helen Meadows, Training, Education & Staff Development Lead, Cancer Trials Centre
Hans van de Koot, Reader in Linguistics, Linguistics, Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
Kathy Tubb, Lecturer in Cultural Heritage Studies, Institute of Archaeology
Graziella Favarato, Research Associate, Institute of Child Health
Corinna Riva, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Archaeology
Tessa Parsons, Research Associate, Institute of Epidemiology and Health
Federico Federici, Lecturer in Translation – Translation Technology, Translation Studies, SELCS
Hélène Neveu Kringelbach, Lecturer in African Studies, African Studies Research Centre, IAS
Louise Martin, Reader in Zooarchaeology, Institute of Archaeology
Melvyn Stokes, Professor of Film History, Dept of History
Sara Randall, Professor of Anthropology, Dept of Anthropology
Kerstin Michaels, Departmental Manager, Dept of Information Studies
Mark Waugh, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Liver and Digestive Health
Benet Salway, Faculty Graduate Tutor, Faculty of Social and Historial Sciences
John Yandell, Senior Lecturer in Education (English Studies) Institute of Education
Jim Tyson, Senior IT Trainer, ISD Training
Mark Newman, Reader in Evidence-Informed Policy & Practice in Education & Social Policy, Institute of Education
Nick Midgley, Lecturer, Research Dept of Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology
Andrea Sella, Professor, Dept of Chemistry
Sibylle Nalezinski, IT / Multimedia Support Officer
Stephen Colvin, Professor of Classics and Historical Linguistics, Dept of Greek and Latin
Donna Arrondelle, Teaching Fellow in Qualitative Methods, Dept of Political Science
Robin Wilson, Teaching Fellow, The Bartlett School of Architecture
Étienne Von Bertrab, Teaching Fellow, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit
Cecile Laborde, Professor of Political Theory, Dept of Political Science
Sarah Pickering, Teaching Fellow, Slade School of Fine Art
Mark Farrant, Professor of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology
David Wengrow, Professor of Comparative Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology
Nicholas Wright, Teaching Fellow in EU Politics, Dept of Political Science

See also

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About Sean

Senior Research Fellow, Survey of English Usage, University College London
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