Quality warriors' battle of semantics

April 14, 1995

Natfhe welcomes proposals to reduce the duplication and bureaucracy of the present quality assurance system and supports an audit-based rather than assessment-based approach (THES, March 31).

We argue, however, that quality is not achieved solely through the introduction of either audit procedures or assessment of teachers but requires resources in the form of smaller classes, more time for staff to engage in scholarly activity and research, well-stocked libraries, adequate computers and other equipment, and sufficient studio and laboratory space. Recent Subject Overviews by the HEFCE have revealed deficiencies in all of these resources.

Most academic staff are keen to provide high quality education but are increasingly demoralised by high workloads, poor working conditions and inadequate resources. The key requirement for quality is funding and better quality teaching can only be achieved through better funding.

Ann Cotterrell

Assistant secretary (higher education)

Natfhe

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