[ncpm] SHU VC Prof. Diana Green speaks out....

  • From: "Pride in Sheffield" <prideinsheffield@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <ncpm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 11:16:41 -0000

For those of you interested in wider issues yesterdays Guardian Education 
'Opinion' column was written by SHU Vice Chancellor Professor Diana Green. 
Headline reads:
"The governement is out of touch with the link between business and education"

http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/comment/story/0,9828,911322,00.html to 
read the full article.

Of particular interest is the last few paragraphs....

The lack of understanding of the real implications of steering the majority of 
universities towards technology and knowledge transfer is underlined by the 
trivial sums allocated to it. With £114m earmarked by 2006, compared with the 
£2.66bn going into research, this is a feeble "third leg". It is not enough to 
make any serious impact on regional wealth creation or shifting the value 
system of the target universities. 

Step forward the regional development agencies! The extent of their involvement 
in science, engineering and technology to stimulate employment, regeneration, 
wealth creation and advanced skills varies from region to region. How the 
balance of power and responsibilities between the universities and hence the 
RDAs and ultimately regional governments will work out is an intriguing 

The greater role promised to the agencies could be a positive development - or 
a total disaster.



The overall tone of the article seems conservative in it's arguements against 
the government and really served as a platform to boast the virtues of the two 
Sheffield based universities research activities. However this provoking 'last 
jab' directed at the power relationships between local Universities, Regional 
Development Agencies and the myriad tiers of goverment highlight what is really 
going on. Funding reductions, a massive rise in numbers of students, 
increasingly centralised target & agenda setting mean all Universities are 
facing what is becoming a common issue at all levels of society - how to 
balance the global (or national, or regional - whatever) with the LOCAL. Local 
is where it's at, Local is where it happens. Disregard respect and 
responsibility for the local at the peril of all above it. The lesson - To 
build a strong house you need strong foundations. Prof Diana Green and her 
staff have seen this played out on the Hallam University doorstep. The question 
is 'Have they learnt it yet?'


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