Segnaliamo ai lettori l’articolo di Peter Scott, recentemente apparso sul Guardian, dal titolo Stop treating universities as if they were a football game. Secondo Scott, professore di Higher Education a UCL, il sistema di valutazione nazionale, centrato sul REF – pur ben più solido delle imitazioni viste in Italia- e la conseguente competizione fra atenei stanno trascinando la ricerca scientifica in ambiti estranei e potenzialmente pericolosi: una deriva verso il marketing e l’opportunismo che suscita allarme.
Higher education is not like the Premier League. Chelsea beats Manchester City by scoring more goals (or the other way round), regardless of the run of play. There can be no doubt about when a goal has been scored, give or take some dodgy refereeing. It is, despite the multi-million pound stakes, just a game.
But treating higher education as if it were a game corrupts. A good “student experience”, now an obligatory phrase, is not increased or diminished simply because it is ranked higher or lower in some crazy table. The real value of science and scholarship cannot be measured by whether those who undertake the underlying research have had lots of external grants (the bigger the better) or get published in highly cited journals or by top-flight university presses.
But who now dares say competition is a bad thing?