GOVERNMENT responses to the Dearing report are expected soon -probably now before publication of the ever receding, once white, now green, lifelong learning paper. One recommendation expected to find favour is the requirement that academic staff be trained to teach. The Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals and the Standing Conference of Principals can expect to be congratulated on setting up their own agency to do this and will probably be left to get on with it - at least for a while.
The Institute for Teaching and Learning will be fully up and running in the autumn. Planning has been overseen by a large steering group representing all interested organisations.
Such a committee does not make for speed but, with goodwill, could help produce consensus and support in the academic community: by no means a foregone conclusion. With the next stage, the appointment of a chairman and board, more rapid progress should be evident.
Meanwhile, The THES is working with the CVCP and the Society for Research in Higher Education to find out what our readers want to learn through such training and where they want to learn it and to provide workshops.
Most universities and colleges plan to provide training in-house, accredited by the institute. This may be cheap and convenient. It will make sense, for example, for the induction of new staff. But for established staff will it provide the same stimulus as attending courses elsewhere?
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