Centres must hold 1

March 4, 2010

Outstanding teaching is needed if UK universities are to compete in a global market. League tables and the National Student Survey have drawn attention to learning and teaching and helped to create the conditions for a grass-roots revolution. Bottom-up cultural change is being nurtured by the Higher Education Academy subject centres, but their powerful impact for good may be too grassroots to be noticed at the senior level ("HEA cuts threaten future of subject centres", 25 February).

Despite the positive 2008 independent interim evaluation of the subject centres, the HEA has, bizarrely, offered every permutation of cut for consideration, except for retaining the centres and cutting the centres.

Universities take note: if NSS results matter in the short term and the quality of the student experience matters in the long term, HEA money should be spent on the subject centres.

Peter Reddy, Associate dean for learning and teaching, Aston University.

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