Response to the Higher Education Green PaperFri 22nd Jan 2016
Following a consultation with our members, we have submitted a formal response to BIS as part of the consultation process on the Government's Higher Education Green Paper - 'Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice'.
Overall, our members are encouraged by the focus now being put on teaching. It is an area where business schools believe they have a lot to offer and to share. In particular we welcome recognition for the difference institutions make to the lives of young people and urge BIS to consider ways in which individuals can reap the benefits of their good teaching. The focus on widening participation is encouraging but it is difficult to see how it fits with everything else that is being proposed.
As we reported in our response to the initial consultation we would suggest the Teaching Excellence Framework proposals consider a basket of metrics including:
- Retention rates
- Completion rates
- The percentage of teaching staff with teaching qualifications
- Percentage of academic staff engaging with communities of practice
- How research activity of lecturing staff feeds in to teaching
- Evaluation of peer review mechanism within each institution
- Some CPD measures
- Staff to student ratios (potentially with subject specific moderation)
- Student satisfaction/feedback
- Student destinations
- A value-added measure
- Some form quality measure of e-learning materials
We highlighted a number of concerns in our response, not least because of the lack of detail thus far available and the tight timescale proposed in the Green Paper. We stressed that the TEF needs to have credibility from the outset and that if this means delaying its introduction then we would support that. We also have concerns about ensuring there is a proper mechanism for measuring ‘added-value’ so that institutions are encouraged to maintain or grow a widening participation agenda. And innovation in learning and teaching needs to be encouraged and supported rather than penalised by a rigid measurement system.
We have again reiterated our opposition to linking TEF performance to the ability to raise student fees and have explained why we believe it would be problematic.
We have offered to work with BIS to refine these proposals to ensure they result in the desired outcomes and are respected and used by all stakeholders.