An awful lot of energy is expended by all academic bodies creating systems to protect them from deception. We assume students might try to cheat, we talk about untrustworthy sources, lecturers are not trusted to teach in the way they think best, funders don’t trust us to spend grants appropriately. I wonder what proportion of any academic budget is spent ensuring that bad things don’t happen? Has anyone speculated on the notion that the more systems you create to guard against a minority of untrustworthy individuals the more you create an environment in which the trustworthy cease to trust. It strikes me as an obvious descent to the lowest common denominator when we cannot entrust lecturers to spend budgets supporting their own students and teaching. Instead another group of slightly senior lectures who only slightly know the lecturer and the students pass the decision up to a committee of managers and accountants who definitely know neither. All lecturers in collaboration with their students, should be given a budget to spend as they wish.

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