A Pounds 4 million funding programme aimed at rewarding teaching quality has got the go-ahead from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Seen as a possible stalking horse for a teaching quality related element in the funding model - one of the possibilities under discussion in the consultation process HEFCE launched last week - the Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning will come into operation in the 1996/97 academic year.
It will be open only to units of assessment awarded an excellent grade, or with a satisfactory grade plus a commendation in the specific area of development proposed in the application. Leaders of consortium applications must also fulfil these criteria.
HEFCE says the aim is to develop and disseminate good practice in teaching and learning, rather than to fund research in these areas. Selection criteria will include the potential value of the project to teachers and learners in higher education, a realistic timetable, effective monitoring and evaluation, dissemination strategy and the active support of senior management in participating institutions.
The council does not expect to allocate more than Pounds 250,000 over three years to any project. First-stage applicants - based on the 15 units assessed between 1993 and 1995 - must apply by January 31 and will be notified of results by February 29.
The second stage, based on the eight units currently being assessed, has an applications deadline of April 30 and will receive funding from October 1997. A further Pounds 4 million has been allotted provisionally for 1997/98.