A significant shift away from the research culture of universities will be signalled next week. The Higher Education Funding Council for England will announce that Graham Gibbs of the Open University is to conduct a study outlining a new teaching and learning strategy for higher education by the end of June.
The HEFCE said the study was part of chief executive Brian Fender's mission to raise the esteem of teaching and learning in universities. The council has been criticised recently for its over-concentration on research and neglect of teaching. Its current strategy consists of a handful of initiatives, primarily the Pounds 35 million Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning which has been dismissed by some as low-budget tinkering.
"The aim is to establish a much broader strategy," said a HEFCE spokesman this week.
Professor Gibbs, of the OU's centre for higher education practice, will complete his report next month ahead of the Dearing inquiry report.