Looking at it By and Large

Sir HumphreyI caught part of a rerun of Yes Minister last night….

Hacker: When you give your evidence to the Think Tank, are you going to support my view that the civil service is overmanned and feather-bedded, or not? Yes or no? Straight answer.

Sir Humphrey: Well Minister, if you ask me for a straight answer, then I shall say that, as far as we can see, looking at it by and large, taking one thing with another in terms of the average of departments, then in the final analysis it is probably true to say, that at the end of the day, in general terms, you would probably find that, not to put too fine a point on it, there probably wasn’t very much in it one way or the other… As far as one can see, at this stage.

…and was reminded of trying to read scads of explanation about the Comprehensive Spending Review and the HEFCE Consultation on, and Modelling of, the impact of the Equivalent or Lower Qualification Decision.

And worse still trying to explain the situation to others!

An example from the HEFCE Explanatory Notes:

3. These explanatory notes are essential to gain a proper understanding of the modelling that we have provided, and to avoid misinterpretations or erroneous conclusions. In order to avoid these notes becoming overly complex, they have been written on the assumption that readers have some understanding of our teaching funding methods. For those that are less familiar with these methods, the following publications, available on our web-site, are recommended:

Quite so.

And as for the new Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, I’m going into a corner to mutter darkly about them.

A lovely meaty issue to welcome me to my new institution….

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