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AJ Cann

I've got to take issue with "RAE is very New Labour" - actually, it's Thatcherite through and through (unless you're trying to say that New Labour is Thatcherite? ;-)


Sorry Alan, I disagree. It may have started out as Tory, but like with the national curriculum, and the NHS goals, it was Blair who really embraced this centralised quotas approach. It represents the worst of what they took from Thatcher (well, everything they took from Thatcher was bad) mixed with their own worst tendencies (centralisation, desire to show authority, control freakery). I'm not arguing that it would be better under the tories, but in its implementation the RAE is New Labour through and through.

Paul Hopkins

I sort of sit in the middle (a "third way" !!) I think that that Tories were obsessed with central control (they did introduce the NC and OfSTED) but NL have been obsessed with measureability and targets and that all things are quantifiable.

I like your categories Martin and know that one big issue with RAE has been the 'buying in' of academics with great portfolios (as measured by the REA) and to the detriment in my experience of less experienced researchers.

I also work in the e-learning field and I like the tags approach to categorization a much more Web 2.0 approach.

Lastly I also agree than a lot of research is "bread upon the waters" stuff and we do not know how this is going to turn out - the RAE can encourage us to stay with the orthodox and not venture into the unknown.

Rene Meijer

While I know relatively little about the RAE (probably something I should be thankful for), it struck me that you could replace 'RAE' with 'student assessment' and still have a reasonable sensible post, aside from the alternatives.

Personally I think the system should be more outcome based in stead of reputation based. It's time we learned to be entrepeneurial, and less incestuous. Why don't we award money based on an appreciation / recommendation system of the results of (freely accessible) published research? If you you make something valuable available to the community, the comunity will pay you for it. If what you produce is not valuable, no pay. if what you produce is proprietary, then you'l have to negotiate payment via the proprietary route.

I'm probably being overly simplistic and idealistic, but then again, that is the prerogative of a lay person.

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