Enhancement achievements

August 14, 2014

As the authors of the report on the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s role in teaching enhancement, we were disappointed that your article concentrated only on the weaknesses of the initiatives rather than the achievements (“ ‘Superficial’: £500m fails to develop class acts”, News, 31 July).

Our report clearly shows the significant importance of Hefce’s initiatives in signalling the centrality of teaching and learning in universities while also arguing that, as a whole, these initiatives lacked a cohesive strategy that would support sector-wide change. The report also stresses the importance of Hefce’s continued role in this area in the future.

However, in her letter, Madeleine Atkins (Letters, 7 August) also misinterprets one of our comments. We do not suggest that Hefce works or should work directly with everyday university teachers. Rather we argue that if teaching and learning enhancement initiatives are to be successful, they need to have a sustained impact on day-to-day teaching across the sector. This is a very different point and is one that is recognised in Hefce’s own “future principles of enhancement”, which highlight the belief that “enhancement should be a mainstream activity for all institutions”.

Paul Ashwin, Murray Saunders and Paul Trowler
Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation
Lancaster University

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations