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  • Britse profs vrezen nieuwe financiering

    - Ruim een derde van de Britse hoogleraren zou hun onderzoek elders in de wereld gaan doen als plannen voor meer outputbekostiging van R&D doorgaan. De helft van de onderzoekers meent, dat zo’n financiering het personeelsbeleid van hun instituut en universiteit zal veranderen

    De Britse VSNU, de UCU, vertelt over haar peiling het volgende: 'The controversial proposals, announced by Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), would force 25% of future research to be assessed on 'economic impacts'. The plans have been condemned by the academic community as an attack on curiosity-driven research.

    "We should be working hard to attract the finest minds to Britain, not implementing new rules that will drive them away," zegt Sally Hunt, de algemeen secretaris van de universiteitenkoepel. "History has taught us that some of the biggest breakthroughs have come from speculative research and it is wrong to try and measure projects purely on their economic potential. We believe the new system would strangle talent and destroy initiative.

    Half the professors polled think that their department's hiring and firing plans will be influenced by the changes. With the higher education sector now facing the biggest cuts seen in a generation, the last thing we need is to lose the brightest and the best through a failure to support their work."

    The poll of professors found:

    * Over two-thirds (69%) did not support the impact proposals

    * Over a third (35%) would consider pursuing their academic career abroad if the changes were introduced

    * One in five (22%) said they knew colleagues planning to leave the country if the changes were introduced

    * Half (49%) said the proposals would influence the hiring and firing of staff in their department

    * Almost three-quarters (72%) said the changes, if introduced, would lead to changes in policies and practices in their department

    * Almost two-thirds (65%) said they thought the proposals would alter the focus and practice of research in their department.

    UCU produced a report that looks in greater detail at how some of our most crucial breakthroughs would not have been discovered without curiosity-driven research. To view that report visit https://www.ucu.org.uk/media/pdf/0/s/ucu_notsurvivingtheREF.pdf