What is the Purpose of REF?

Today, Jo Grady, general secretary of my university trade Union (UCU) wrote these words to all academic staff who are members of the union:

“we are asking you to withdraw, where possible,

from activities relating to the REF […] […]  

These activities are important to employers but they damage our sector.

They rely on inappropriate metrics of quality; that create

perverse incentives and prevent us from doing the front line

teaching, research and professional services work that really matters.

Exercises like the REF tend to increase our workloads,

waste money that could be invested in staff, and exacerbate

our anxiety and insecurity by subjecting us to unfair,

unhelpful performance management procedures. “

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