The EIS is the largest education union in Scotland with approaching sixty thousand teacher members including over five thousand members in Further Education Colleges and around fifteen hundred members as academics and academic related staff within Higher Education Institutions across Scotland.
The EIS HE members form a Self-Governing Association called the ‘Educational Institute of Scotland University Lecturers’ Association’ (EIS-ULA) with its own Executive to deal with HE matters including determining HE policy for the Institute. The EIS is therefore unique amongst trade unions in having HE policy matters determined solely in Scotland.The EIS-ULA welcomes the opportunity to comment on the latest proposals affecting the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and has the following comments to offer:The EIS-ULA has in the past raised a number of concerns with the REF and predecessor exercises. It welcomed the recommendations of the Stern Review, with some important caveats, but cautioned that these recommendations would not go far enough in terms of making REF more cost-effective and less divisive.The EIS-ULA has serious concerns, therefore, with the way in which the recommendations arising from the Stern Review have been implemented (or not, as the case may be) and with the impact of this implementation for academic staff. One overarching concern is that, despite the changes, REF will continue to be an expensive and divisive exercise that corrupts and distorts the practice it claims to measure, discourages innovation and difference, and impacts negatively on teaching.
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