From The Higher Education Academy (UK) comes a set of reports that confirms what most of us knew anecdotally . . . that despite the rhetoric, quality in teaching is often not taken seriously in higher education.

Read the summary from the Academy below.

For the full reports, click here.

“Teaching performance is not consistently included in the promotion criteria for academics at UK universities and colleges – and is often completely absent – a new report published today shows.

Despite the vital role that teaching plays in a student’s experience of university, it is research performance that is emphasised in most HEI promotion policies.

The new research forms the second report from the ‘Reward and recognition of teaching in higher education’ project, a collaboration between the Higher Education Academy and the University of Leicester’s GENIE Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL).

The new research shows that of the 104 institutions surveyed, all of them included research performance criteria as part of their promotions policies but only 73 included teaching performance criteria. Only 45 of the 73 include explicit criteria for assessing teaching performance.  It also found that teaching is less likely to be incorporated in criteria for promotion in the more research intensive.

Professor Annette Cashmore of the GENIE CETL at Leicester comments: “The dominance of the recognition of research over teaching in higher education institutions is anecdotally well-established. The aim of the project we have undertaken with the Academy is to look at the evidence and to make some practical suggestions about what can be done about it. Our work is timely as interest in the quality of the overall student experience grows.”

Commenting on the report, the Deputy Chief Executive of the Higher Education Academy, Sean Mackney, said: “This collaboration between the Academy and the GENIE CETL at Leicester has shown that more needs to be done to put teaching on an equal footing with research in academic career progression.  We have identified a number of steps that will make this possible.”

The project recommends that funding should be made available to carry out work on defining and developing criteria for recognising quality in teaching and quality in the student experience. These criteria should be appropriate to diverse institutional missions and include examples of good practice from the UK and overseas.  It also recommends that universities and colleges should scrupulously apply the criteria and methods to all levels of academic positions.”