Saturday, 15 September 2018

What You Need to Know: How other Countries Assess Research

Two ends of the South African research assessment scale: kak and lekker.
Photo by Greg Bakker on Unsplash
In the UK the REF has become an unavoidable feature of the research landscape. But how do other countries assess research? We look at one example - South Africa - and their very different solution to the same challenge.

The Rise of the Flexigator

A fully balanced flexigator diet of a block grant burger and side order of study leave
Photo by Edward Franklin on Unsplash

With the rise in vegetarianism and veganism, meat eaters with a conscience are having a difficult time. They enjoy meat, but they don't want to appear like they don't care about animal welfare or the future of the planet.

Luckily semantics is at hand to help them out. 'Flexitarianism' is the new name they invented to suggest that they've given some serious thought to things, and that, whilst they'll still eat anything they want, they might occasionally eat a bit less meat and aren't adverse to a lentil or two.

The success of 'flexitarianism' has had an unexpected effect on the world of research funding. It has been adapted by those academics who really care about grants and external funding, but don't actually want to change any old habits.