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Measure of doubt

A new analysis of the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework suggests that there is no correlation between an institution’s performance in the assessment exercise and the proportion of academic staff with teaching qualifications.

Long gone are the days when academics could hide in ivory towers doing research to amuse themselves and a bit of teaching when they felt like it. Maybe this picture was always a false one, but certainly in the past 30 years a revolution has taken place in the way the outputs of academics and universities are measured.

First, in 1986, came the Research Assessment Exercise, morphing into the Research Excellence Framework in 2014, which continues to force changes in university strategy and subsequently influence academic careers. Now, universities are being measured for teaching excellence. For many this is welcome; in theory, the Teaching Excellence Framework will balance university and academic priorities to embrace teaching, and help inform prospective students about university choices as they progress into higher education.

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