Education Development and Leadership in Higher Education: Developing an Effective Institutional Strategy

By Kym Fraser | Go to book overview

2

The role of national UK organisations in enhancing the quality of teaching and learning

Brenda Smith

Over the last two decades there have been many changes in educational policy worldwide, with an increasing emphasis on public accountability. Alongside this, student numbers have increased globally, as well as the student body becoming more diversified in terms of age, background, qualifications and culture. Consequently this has led the higher education sector in the UK needing to rethink and adapt many of its practices, thus helping to ensure that all students receive a positive learning experience. Support for these changes has come from a number of directions including funding by the UK government and other national organisations.

The aim of this chapter is threefold. The first aim is to take a backward glance and discuss some of the funded initiatives that took place in the 1980s and early 1990s. Lessons learned will be highlighted. The second aim is to explore the current landscape and in particular takes a look at the Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund and its impact on learning and teaching. The third aim is to take a forward look and a 'peep' into the future as the higher education climate moves from one of quality management to quality enhancement and the formation of the new Higher Education Academy.


A BACKWARD GLANCE

Twenty years ago funding to support teaching initiatives was rare. Individuals or small teams of staff usually carried out innovations on learning and teaching in their own time. Central education development units were unusual and few opportunities existed for disseminating learning and teaching initiatives beyond the individual university perimeter walls.

In 1987 the Enterprise in Higher Education initiative (EHE) was

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