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External pressures on teaching

By G. MacDonald Ross

Abstract

[FIRST PARAGRAPHS]\ud The primary role of the PRS-LTSN is to improve the quality of\ud education by encouraging the sharing of good practice and\ud innovation, and the discussion of common problems. However, there\ud are other forces at play, which are pursuing the same end by different\ud means. The purpose of this article is to explain what these forces are,\ud and how the PRS-LTSN can help departments to satisfy their demands.\ud \ud The first set of pressures comes from the Government via the\ud funding councils, namely the requirement for higher education\ud institutions (HEIs) to be publicly accountable for the services they\ud provide with Government funding. The assumption is that the two main\ud activities of HEIs are teaching and research:\ud \ud ● The Research Assessment Exercise2 (RAE) is conducted by the\ud Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) on behalf\ud of the other funding councils, and research ratings have a major\ud influence on funding.\ud \ud ● The assessment of the quality of teaching and of institutional quality\ud assurance mechanisms is the responsibility of the Quality Assurance\ud Agency (QAA) (see Appendix), which is an independent body funded\ud jointly by the funding councils, Universities UK (UUK) and the\ud Standing Conference of Principals (SCoP). Ratings do not affect\ud funding, except that there is the ultimate sanction of withdrawal of\ud funding for persistently unsatisfactory programmes of study.\ud \ud ● More recently, the Transparency Review commissioned by the\ud funding councils evaluates the extent to which funding for research\ud is actually spent on research, and funding for teaching is actually\ud spent on teaching.\u

Publisher: The Higher Education Academy : Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies
Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:4482

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