Floored by flawed audit

November 12, 1999

Phil Baty seemed almost disappointed that teaching in higher education has been judged to have improved ("High scores let teaching off the hook", THES, November 5).

He refers to "a slump in departments being failed", suggesting this is bad news. He also refers back to the "revelation earlier in the summer that universities are paying academics and QAA assessors ... to train departments to get top marks in their subject reviews". In higher education as well as elsewhere, the use of outside experts to help improve practice is considered entirely legitimate. Institutions are putting in ever more effort to secure real improvements: it should come as no surprise that objective, external judgements are finding that things have improved.

Robert Leyland, Head, Policy and planning unit University of Manchester

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