Universities are being encouraged to develop teaching and learning strategies "explicitly linked to the institution's corporate plan", under new guidelines published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
The guidelines were developed to assist universities apply for Pounds 89 million in Teaching Quality Enhancement Funds to be distributed between 1999 and 2002 by HEFCE.
Under the guidelines, institutions are urged to set targets that can be measured objectively and to produce strategies that can be evaluated to determine whether they are effective.
The TQEF money will be awarded in institutional, individual and subject strands. It aims to help redress the balance between teaching and research in universities.
Institutional funding, for individual universities or consortia, is likely to be directed at developing high-quality staff, innovations in the use of communications and information technology, transferring and adopting good practices, and activities that increase the employability of students.
For a single institution to receive funding it must demonstrate "very high" levels of institutional support, including some matched funding and a "clear and considered strategy for dissemination and transfer to other institutions".
The funding for individuals will be provided annually from a Pounds 1 million National Teaching Fellowship Scheme.
The subject strand funding will be channelled into the Learning and Teaching Support Network and the Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning. It will not be available for the development of new courses or teaching and learning techniques, but for genuine innovation that has already taken place.
Funding will be given to projects ranging from large-scale, three-year exercises to two-year projects funded at a maximum of Pounds 75,000.
In addition to the Pounds 89 million, HEFCE will provide Pounds 90 over the same period to improve the capital and information technology infrastructure of teaching and learning.