Thursday, September 19, 2013

Academic consultants could save government time and money

. . . is a story covered in this week's edition of the Times Higher Education magazine HERE. This piece includes an extended interview with me concerning a blog post I wrote a few weeks ago on this subject. The THE piece says [an excerpt]:

"[. . .] Writing on the London School of Economics’ British politics and policy blog, Thom Brooks, reader in law at Durham University, notes that according to newspaper estimates, the UK government spent up to £800 million on private consultants and short-term staff in 2012‑13.

Dr Brooks says this bill could be greatly reduced by tapping into the specialist knowledge of UK academics. Using them as consultants would also allow the government to demonstrate it was serious about the impact agenda, giving academics a genuine opportunity to influence policy by incentivising them to communicate their ideas in “non-technical” language.

“Most academics I speak to say they would love to air their ideas about policy to ministers,” he told Times Higher Education.

Dr Brooks suggested that academics from within and across institutions could form semi-permanent research policy units – which might also include private consultants – to tender for specific Whitehall projects. [. . .]"


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