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March 21, 1997

We were delighted to see that Gareth Williams and colleagues at the Institute of Education have endorsed a national accreditation scheme for higher education teachers (THES, February 28).

The Staff and Educational Development Association has six years' experience in running such a (wholly voluntary) scheme. We have seen a steady growth in demand: some 60 programmes for new teachers are now registered. Programmes in the older universities form 25 per cent of those recognised and a similar proportion of those preparing for recognition. A national scheme must build on what has been learned over the past six years. It must also involve all those with a stake in the quality of teaching in higher education.

Liz Beaty Executive accreditation coordinator, Staff and Educational Development Association, University of Brighton

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