Teaching first is lesson from US

June 16, 2000

The paying public sees teaching as the main job of university faculty in the United States, with research second, "and it wants to see results", according to Peg Miller, president of the American Association for Higher Education, who gave a keynote speech at Stirling University this week.

Highlighting the tension between research and teaching that is fuelling debate in UK universities, Professor Miller said that assessment was under pressure.

"Assessment and technology are the top two issues facing educators. It means looking at how people learn. The problem is we haven't assessed how traditional methods have worked... and now many students will be online," she said.

Professor Miller was speaking at a conference on innovation and creativity in teaching and learning, organised by the Society for Research into Higher Education.

The conference attracted partic-ipants bubbling with ideas from their research into teaching.

But it was Sally Brown, deputy principal at Stirling and chair of the 2001 research assessment exercise panel on education, who spoke of the funding Catch-22 teachers and researchers face in the UK.

Professor Brown told partic-ipants: "If universities get poor RAE ratings, they get less money. This leads to more routine teaching and the abandonment of research.

"If the RAE results are good, researchers are brought in to spend time on research. There is a gradual separation of research and teaching, with much teaching done by part-timers and postgraduate students," she said.

"The irony is that students never get to see the 'stars' who attracted them there in the first place."

THESDiary, page 8

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Dean (International) UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST OF SCOTLAND - PAISLEY CAMPUS
Assistant Dean (Research & Enterprise) UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST OF SCOTLAND
Professor of New Media UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST OF SCOTLAND
Professor of Sport UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST OF SCOTLAND
Professor of Strategic Management UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST OF SCOTLAND - PAISLEY CAMPUS

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (8 September 2016)

Some lecturers will rightly encourage forms of student interaction that are impossible for those covering their faces, Eric Heinze argues

Handwritten essay on table

Universities must pay more attention to the difficulties faced by students, says Daniel Dennehy

University of Oxford students walking on campus

University of Oxford snatches top spot from Caltech in this year’s World University Rankings as Asia’s rise continues

Theresa May entering 10 Downing Street, London

The prospect of new grammar schools on the horizon raises big questions for HE, writes Nick Hillman

Nosey man outside window

Head of UK admissions service Mary Curnock Cook addresses concerns that universities might ‘not hear a word’ from applicants