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Breaking down the ‘divide’ between research and teaching

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-14-39-03As higher education in England is poised for the largest transformation in recent decades, University Alliance and the Higher Education Academy (HEA) have collaborated to help institutions to demonstrate and further improve the quality of teaching and ensure students flourish within their institutions.

The new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is intended to provide a mechanism to measure and reward excellent teaching.   While this may take many different forms, one area where universities may be able to seek commendation is research-informed teaching.

A joint workshop organised by University Alliance and the HEA will today explore what research-informed teaching looks like across different disciplines and how it benefits students and universities, as well as employers and the wider community.

The interactive event ‘What is research-led teaching – and why is it important?’, featuring high-profile speakers, in Church House Conference Centre in Westminster, London today will showcase examples of best practice in research-led teaching and help the sector develop a better understanding of its extent and value.

Alongside the workshop, UA and the HEA are today publishing a collection of case studies highlighting examples of research-informed teaching from across Alliance universities, covering a broad range of existing practice.

Commenting, University Alliance Chief Executive, Maddalaine Ansell, said:

“Alliance universities have always recognised that excellent teaching goes hand in hand with excellent research.  A creative relationship between research and teaching enhances the student experience, improves student employability and enriches the research culture.

“Diversity is a strength of our higher education sector, and research-informed teaching can take many forms. The new Teaching Excellence Framework should recognise and reward those that are done well and have impact. We also call for the Office for Students to work with Research England to ensure both of these new bodies offer the right incentives for innovative approaches to teaching excellence.”

Stephanie Marshall, Higher Education Academy Chief Executive, said:

“The HEA champions and promotes excellent teaching whatever its form and globally research-informed teaching is increasingly a key topic of discussion.

“The supporting evidence in TEF submissions will be so important in providing evidence of excellent practice that can’t be captured in headline metrics alone.”

The workshop will be attended by senior practitioners at universities representing the diversity of the sector as well as key stakeholders. Speakers include:

  • Stephanie Marshall, Chief Executive, Higher Education Academy;
  • Iain Mansfield, Deputy Director, TEF and Quality, Department for Education;
  • Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute; and
  • Professor Sue Rigby, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Development), University of Lincoln and co-convenor of the HEA’s national PVC Network which has provided a focal point for sector feedback on TEF proposals and informed the HEA’s own responses to Government TEF consultation. She has also been announced last week as a member of TEF Panel chaired by Professor Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. The case studies booklet, What does research-informed teaching look likecan be found here.

2. The Government consulted on proposals for the TEF to issue commendations to indicate excellence in a number of areas including excellence in research-led teaching. You can read more about these proposals here in the Teaching Excellence Framework Technical Consultation for Year Two, p33).

3. Read our blogpost on RIT here.

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