Laments for the HEA 2

June 22, 2007

Like Philip Burgess and Paul Hudson, I have been an ­elected member of the councils of both the Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and the Higher Education Academy and, like them — indeed, like most “chalk-face” lecturers who stood — I was always among the top group elected.

Unfortunately colleagues are quite right to point out that the HEA is now working to reduce our ­influence.

The ILT was a paradoxical organisation. Although many felt it to be a government imposition, it was constituted as a charitable professional association for those who care about teaching in higher education. It was owned by its members and was collegial and democratic, and moving forwards representing the views of its community and giving them professional control over their training and ­development.

Since it was absorbed into the HEA this movement has been reversed.

With the abolition of its academic council, the process is almost complete. The HEA has now become just another quango among the ever shifting sands of such bodies, its function to waste money and provide meaningless jobs, foundationless and ripe for abolition.

Niall MacKay
York University

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