Leading article: After the RAE

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The Treasury's cleverly executed putsch of the research assessment exercise has left higher education open-mouthed Clearly the mandarins have lined up some important supporters among university vice-chancellors, but there are nevertheless a large number of sceptics. One is Oxford's vice-chancellor John Hood; another is Professor James Stirling, the particle physicist and fellow of the Royal Society, who is Durham University's pro vice-chancellor for research. The Treasury is going to have to do a lot of work to persuade them that a "tick box" metrics-based methodology is preferable to peer review. There is a danger that metrics would simply concentrate resources further in a few large institutions.