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REF guidance treats staff like a ‘commodity’, UCU says

Image: US Air Force

It is “disgraceful” to allow universities to submit work by redundant academics to the next Research Excellence Framework, the University and College Union has said.

UCU was responding to REF 2021 guidance published on 31 January, which said that the submission of outputs of former staff made redundant would be permitted. The union said this decision would allow universities to “treat staff like a disposable commodity and entrench the casualisation of early-career researchers”.

“This disgraceful decision is a total breach of faith and will cause significant reputational damage both to funders and any universities foolish enough to go along with it,” said UCU head of policy Matt Waddup.

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