Monday, February 02, 2015

Analysis of REF 2014 results

Here are a couple of recent articles I found interesting at Wonkhe (which as election time approaches deserves to be of interest to UK academics).

The hidden bang-for-buck heroes of UK research presents a (yet another) league table, this one ranking universities according to a measure of their research output, divided by their research income. I like the idea since it sometimes seems like universities and academics get judged by their research inputs more than by their research outputs. On the other hand (“be careful what you wish for”), there’s a downside to the pursuit of value for money: consider the way various airlines have gone low-cost; side-effects have been reductions in quality, reduced profitability, corner-cutting on safety, and they are less attractive as employers than they used to be.

Teaching and research: A zero-sum game? —the title caught my eye— shows a scatter plot of universities with research output on the x-axis, and teaching (National Student Survey) on the y-axis. I was unconvinced by the claimed positive correlation, but agree that there seem to be two clusters, with research output constituting the relevant attribute.

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