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Should we feel better

October 8, 2008

knowing that we are part of a global trend? Universities in Scotland are also leery about targeted funding, government interference, and loss of autonomy:

The task force has promised more cash for universities, and “lighter-touch” regulation from the funding council, if universities support Government priorities – and in particular its drive to boost Scotland’s economy.

There are proposals to allocate a single general fund to cover universities’ core activities, with a new Horizon Fund dedicated to encouraging new initiatives.

But in a response to the interim report, the University of Strathclyde says it is concerned at the report’s emphasis on universities’ role in boosting the Scottish economy.

“The central thrust of the paper, that there should be ‘something for something’, is worryingly vague,” it says.

And it sees a potential threat to academic freedom. “Too close an alliance with Government, in terms of being an uncritical vehicle solely funded to deliver on aspects of government policy, is inappropriate. Universities must continue to be allowed to use their autonomy to analyse government policy critically, particularly in areas of the social sciences,” Strathclyde says.


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