Bristol Conversations in Education - Unpicking the paradoxes of competitive accountability

5 June 2019, 12.00 PM - 5 June 2019, 1.00 PM

Dr Richard Watermeyer, University of Bath

Room 4.10, School of Education, 35 Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 1JA

This event is part of the School of Education's 'Bristol Conversations in Education' seminar series.

Speaker: Dr Richard Watermeyer, University of Bath

Within this presentation a sociological lens will be focused on the machinery (and machinations) of research governance to elucidate what Michael Tomlinson and I have called a culture of 'competitive accountability' endemic within the UK higher education sector. It will present empirical data from three cognate studies of the UK's performance based research funding system, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), and specifically a new aspect of performance evaluation, the economic and societal impact of research. 'Impact' in the REF will be considered from the purview of:

i) evaluators (both academic and non-academic/research users) populating disciplinary sub-panels spanning the social sciences and humanities

ii) members of the UK parliamentary community (reported as a primary research user/impact recipient

iii) academics including within REF2014 impact case studies.

A series of paradoxes related to impact in the REF as ‘competitive accountability’ are proposed.


Contact information

Emma Rossiter


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