Rare directorship helps raise rural standards;FE Focus

16th April 1999 at 01:00
Scientific investigation is no longer the preserve of a few universities. Simon Midgley reports on a new academic drift

CORNWALL College, the largest rural college in the UK, is unusual in having a designated director of research.

He is Dr Leo Salter, a former associate professor of physical chemistry at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa.

He is one of a rare breed of academics able to span CP Snow's Two Cultures. Thus he has a BA and MA in English literature and a BSc and PhD in chemistry.

He was appointed by Cornwall College nearly four years ago in a bid to ensure that the college could demonstrate evidence of scholarly activity to support the demands of university validation for its degrees.

It was also felt that research could improve professional awareness, bring in consultancy work, establish a greater college presence in the region and generally lead to higher standards in all college activities.

Dr Salter said research also improves staff qualifications and encourages reflective practitioners. "There is a hard core of people committed to research now," he said. "I think it's going to make a big difference."

His college is involved with field trials for crops, work on air pollution, research into skin cancer and into the ecology of the threatened lesser horseshoe bat, and a scheme to tackle pollution in a large lake.

All this work is funded by external bodies such as English Nature, charities, businesses and local councils.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now