The HEA - worthy of support or pointless 1?

February 14, 2008

As a recent Higher Education Academy board member and as the head of an institution that benefits significantly from its services, I would like to comment on your recent article ("Academy lacks credibility with HE chiefs, review shows", February 7).

As reflected in the recent evaluation, the HEA has achieved much in the three years since it successfully took on the substantial task of bringing together the subject centres of the Learning and Teaching Support Network (whose steering committee I chaired) and the Institute of Learning and Teaching.

The academy has adopted an evidence-based approach to improving the student learning experience, assisting the sector in the crucial task of delivering its learning and teaching strategies. Inevitably its early impact has been felt more in departments than at the institutional level. As in any new organisation, further action is required, for example in continuing the programme of interaction with vice-chancellors and their pro vice-chancellors for learning and teaching. But the academy has made a very creditable start and deserves the continued co-operation of the sector.

Rick Trainor, Principal, King's College London

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