Pounds 83m to enhance quality of teaching

February 12, 1999

Plans to reward high-quality teaching and to build links with industry were unveiled this week by the Higher Education Funding Council for England following its council meeting.

HEFCE has established a teaching quality enhancement fund and allocated it Pounds 83 million over the next three years. Funding will be directed at three levels: the institution; the subject or discipline; and the individual academic.

The council had proposed not to direct funding at the institution level but a consultation on the subject showed institutions wanted this funding. "They felt that an institutional-level reward of additional student numbers, as originally proposed, was not enough on its own," said a HEFCE spokesman.

Cash will be allocated by formula. Competitive bidding will be used to allocate funds for individual excellence and subject-based development and support networks. An invitation to bid will be issued in May or June so that funding can begin in 1999-2000.

Details of a fund to build links with industry and the community were also announced. HEFCE has allocated Pounds 70 million over the next four years to the Higher Education Reach Out to Industry and the Community fund. The Department of Trade and Industry is contributing Pounds 50 million.

HEFCE will consult universities and colleges on the criteria for funding shortly. Brian Fender, HEFCE chief executive, said the funds could be used to establish centres of expertise in institutions to develop business links or for the training and development of staff.

HEFCE will issue an invitation to bid in June so that funding can begin in the 1999-2000 academic year.

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