Recognition and reward

December 4, 2014

We applaud the advice from Annette Cashmore for those seeking promotion based on teaching (“If they like your lectures, don’t keep it to yourself”, Careers Intelligence, 6 November).

A recent study by The Physiological Society and the Society of Biology in collaboration with the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Heads of University Biosciences, Improving the Status and Valuation of Teaching in the Careers of UK Academics, highlighted a number of ways in which practice across higher education needs to change to create parity between cases for promotion based on teaching and those based on research. These include, as your article described, the need for individual staff to start compiling a portfolio of qualitative as well as quantitative evidence of teaching quality well in advance of (ie, years before) making a case for promotion. We also highlighted the need for clear sector-wide criteria in evidencing and evaluating teaching – equivalent to those for evaluating research achievements – and the importance of sharing best practice in this area. There is considerable variation (and sometimes opacity) between universities in the hurdles to be cleared along a teaching-focused career pathway, which can result in confusion for applicants, promotion panels and external assessors.

The knowledge and skills of our future graduates depend heavily on the quality of the teaching they receive. High-quality teaching changes lives by broadening horizons. The rise in tuition fees over recent years has brought this issue into even sharper focus. High-quality teaching therefore needs to be appropriately recognised and rewarded through transparent, equitable and sector-wide processes.

Blair Grubb, University of Leicester, chair of the Education and Outreach Committee, The Physiological Society

Judy Harris, University of Bristol, deputy chair of the Education and Outreach Committee, The Physiological Society

Jeremy Pritchard, University of Birmingham, chair of the Education, Training and Policy Committee, Society of Biology

Hilary MacQueen, The Open University, chair of Heads of University Biosciences, a special interest group of the Society of Biology

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

Featured Jobs

Post-doctoral Research Associate in Chemistry

University Of Western Australia

PACE Data Support Officer

Macquarie University - Sydney Australia

Associate Lecturer in Nursing

Central Queensland University
See all jobs

Most Commented

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

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham