Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

'No Excuses for Poor Teaching in £9K Fees Era'

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

'No Excuses for Poor Teaching in £9K Fees Era'

Article excerpt

The introduction of £9,000 tuition fees means that universities no longer have a "reasonable alibi" for complaints about teaching quality, Lord Willetts has said.

Speaking at a debate organised by the Higher Education Policy Institute and the Higher Education Academy as the government considers plans to introduce a teaching excellence framework, the former universities minister highlighted that funding per student in England had been falling for several decades up to the mid-2000s.

This decline in public and private funding had given institutions a "very reasonable alibi for anxieties about teaching quality", he said, particularly when funding for schools had been better protected.

However, Lord Willetts said that the introduction of £3,000 tuition fees in 2006 had stabilised the unit of resource; and that, since the cap was lifted to £9,000 in 2012, it had gone up.

"That gives...the government the right to say 'we have done our bit, we took a large amount of political flak and have done something which has successfully increased the cash behind each student to pay for their teaching'," the peer said. …

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