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Stakeholder Meeting

Monday 11 November from 2.30pm
HEFCE London offices, Centre Point

Attendees

Gareth RobertsChair, RA Review
Harry Bush HMTreasury
Michael DayTeacher Training Agency
David GaniSHEFC
Ann HughesHEFCW
David McAuleyDELNI
John PattisonDepartment of Health
Jo SalwayWelsh Assembly (in place of Derek Adams)
Nick SandersDfES
Rama ThirunamachandranHEFCE
John WandOffice of Science & Technology (in place of Chris Henshall)

Report

1.   Apologies were received from David King. The chair welcomed the new additions to the stakeholder group, John Wand from the Office of Science & Technology in place of Chris Henshall, Jo Salway from the Welsh Assembly in place of Derek Adams and Michael Day from the Teacher Training Agency.

2.    The report of last meeting was noted. The review team confirmed they were progressing with the two action points, to consider convening a special meeting of quality assessment experts, and to pursue an informal meeting with RDAs. Rama Thirunamachandran suggested that a pre-arranged meeting between HEFCE and the RDA chairs might offer an opportunity to do this. Representatives from the devolved administrations agreed to keep their departmental contacts informed about progress with the review.

First Steering group meeting

3.    The chair updated the group on the first meeting of the review steering group and guided members through the draft report of that meeting. As a result of the steering groupís desire to encourage more radical thinking about research assessment, the chair had prepared an article for publication in the Times HE Supplement on Friday 15 November. The editor had also undertaken to include a weekly feature article on the review from different perspectives. Steering group members would also be working in smaller discipline related groups to address some fundamental questions raised in their discussions in the context of the subject area. In view of the amount of work still to be done, John Pattison questioned the tight timescale for completing the review. The chair confirmed that the funding bodies required a review report by May 2003.

External meetings

4.    The group were updated on the informal meetings conducted by the chair and review team. Most of the meetings had not raised particularly fresh or novel ideas but broadly endorsed the approach being taken by the review. The chair welcomed the draft response from UUK and agreed to circulate it to the stakeholder group.

Regional Focus Groups

5.    The review team confirmed that RAND Europe had been commissioned to facilitate regional focus groups to feed into the review. There would be eight held across the UK and conducted in a workshop style with findings presented to the steering group at its next meeting in December.

Open town meetings

6.    The review team confirmed that there would be five open town meetings held over the course of the review to allow larger numbers of people to attend, participate and feed into the review process. Two meetings had been scheduled this year, in Edinburgh (25 November) and Sheffield (11 December), with dates yet to be fixed in the New Year for Belfast, Cardiff and London. These would start with a short update on the review from the chair and followed by questions and discussion focussed around a few key issues. Members of the steering group local to the venues would also be invited to participate. The review team agreed to circulate the key issues for discussion.

Discussion item

7.    The group discussed the distinction between what constitutes research and knowledge transfer and to what extent should research assessment include, and/or run in parallel with an assessment of knowledge transfer. The group debated the desirability of creating an expectation of institutions engaging in research to transfer that knowledge and identified potential problems with including knowledge transfer within research assessment. The group considered what attitudes and behaviour it would be desirable to progress through any new system whilst not losing the beneficial outcomes of the existing RAE.

8.    The group also raised the issues of cash pots as a topic for discussion at the next meeting. To prevent any confusion about current procedures, each funding body agreed to prepare a short briefing for the next meeting.

9.    The group considered how much the re-design of research assessment depended on the issues discussed. The chair considered the discussion helpful and suggested that the group were welcome to share their views with the funding bodies on wider issues related to research and its assessment.

Updates from government representatives

10.    The group were asked to provide any further updates from their respective departments. The DfES confirmed that the new secretary of state would be considering issues of research assessment and funding in due course and further information would be included in the January strategy paper.

Next meeting dates

11.    The group agreed to meet from now onwards every two months on the second Monday of the month. The subsequent stakeholder meeting dates were confirmed as Monday 13 January 2003 and Monday 10 March 2003 from 2.30pm.

 

 


Last updated 23 January 2003
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