University Alliance’s Treasurer and Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, Professor Edward Peck, recently wrote a blog for Wonkhe focusing on the need to find new ways to measure graduate success.
These issues were explored at a University Alliance roundtable that Professor Peck chaired in July which brought together colleagues from the civil service, employers, the HE sector with league table compilers.
“We acknowledged that the emerging connection between the TEF and the level of fee that universities can charge creates an entirely new environment in which to measure teaching success in higher education. There are major challenges to overcome when determining the metrics we might use. First of all, they will be contested in ways that current league table metrics are not, given they will result in winners and losers in the race to generate income. Indeed, it would be unwise to start with most of the current league table measures. For instance, many of the metrics they deploy would be perverse in the TEF – such as staff-student ratios and spend per student which reward inefficiency – or do not adequately reflect the significant government policy objective of widening participation.
Furthermore, this new context means that the measures must possess political and public confidence. Integrity is one of the great strengths of higher education in the UK. In the age of the TEF this will be best protected by putting the chosen metrics as far as possible beyond the reach of either error or gaming by individual institutions. Given the record in other sectors over the last two decades it would show extraordinary confidence in universities not to do so if that choice is available. This would surely represent a triumph of faith over experience, to assume that higher education would be entirely immune as the financial stakes rise.”
To read the full blog visit here.