Top dogs to get cash for quality bonus

July 19, 1996

Top-rated universities and colleges are to get an Pounds 8 million boost in the first direct link between teaching quality assessments and funding.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is allocating the money to projects based in institutions judged to be providing high-quality teaching.

The share-out, marking the beginning of its Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning initiative, starts in September, with Pounds 6.3 million to be distributed among 44 projects over two years.

This first phase covers the 15 subject areas assessed by the council between summer 1993 and spring last year. The projects were selected from 192 original applications.

Nearly half of the successful bids involved consortium arrangements, such as one led by Hull University, which brings together the academic membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Organisation for Heads of Chemistry Departments, and the Network for Chemistry Teaching. The Hull project aims to disseminate good practice in teaching and learning identified in quality assessment reports.

Phase two of the initiative will cover the eight subjects assessed between April last year and September this year. A circular inviting bids for the remaining Pounds 1.7 million, to cover the first year of successful projects beginning in October 1997, will be issued by the funding council in December.

The funding council has also agreed to provide Pounds 3.5 million annually for three years to back the Teaching and Learning Technology Programme, following a favourable evaluation report from consultants Coopers and Lybrand, the Institute of Education and the Tavistock Institute.

The programme, launched in 1992, aims to harness technology to make teaching and learning more efficient. The report found that the programme had produced high-quality materials which would not otherwise have been available.

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