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Contextualising Excellence in Higher Education Teaching: Understanding the Policy Landscape

Teaching Excellence in Higher Education

ISBN: 978-1-78714-762-1, eISBN: 978-1-78714-761-4

Publication date: 21 December 2017


This chapter critically examines how recent government papers and policies have informed and contextualised the new Higher Education and Research Bill (HERB) passed in April 2017. In particular, it concerns itself with the issue of ‘teaching excellence’, through what has been termed the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) that has emerged as a key plank of the current government’s policy for future funding of higher education (HE). It will consider the other spurs for reform in HERB, such as the desire to create a culture in HE where teaching has equal status with research, the need to ensure that universities provide better information about their courses and the experiences that they can offer students and the predictable governmental requirement for institutions to give value for money and to be clearly held accountable for any failure to provide a quality service to students. Lastly, there is also a strong emphasis on widening student participation across the sector and ‘levelling the playing field’ so that new providers can set up with the minimum of red tape. It is interesting to note how each of these additional areas for reform is clearly linked to TEF, which, this chapter will argue, will be the key vehicle used to drive them forward.



French, A. (2017), "Contextualising Excellence in Higher Education Teaching: Understanding the Policy Landscape", French, A. and O’Leary, M. (Ed.) Teaching Excellence in Higher Education (Great Debates in Higher Education), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 5-38.



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