Thank you for your coverage of the Higher Education Academy. As an ex-employee of one of the subject centres, now back into teaching, I would argue that the whole enterprise is a mammoth waste of money. No one really knows what goes on at the HEA, but the proximity of the subject centres to academia gives them a veneer of credibility. In reality, much of what they do is of dubious value. Engagement of lecturers and other academic staff is limited and in most cases it's the same people who are involved with subject centre activities. Much of the material produced duplicates work being done more efficiently elsewhere.
The HEA and subject centre network is too rigid and bureaucratic. A looser network of subject communities is needed that draws on the good work being done by academics. As a lecturer, I can now appreciate why the centres find it difficult to engage their subject community - a cursory glance of my inbox over the past month reveals at least a dozen other organisations and bureaucracies trying to "engage me".
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