The Academy's work is focused in three main areas - Academic Practice Development; Teacher Excellence; and Institutional Strategy and Change
More information about the full range of services and activities under each of the three focus areas is available in the paper below.
Our work on academic practice development includes providing support to academics in subject and discipline areas. This will be led by senior academic staff with responsibility for work across four subject groupings - STEM, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities. The Academy provides resources, workshops and support to staff in their discipline areas, including materials and programmes at discipline level for people who are new to teaching, and to support innovation. Grant funding includes the creation of a new teaching development grants programme to fund innovations in university teaching. This is a £1.5 million fund, with the first one third of a million released for individual bidders in May.
Teacher excellence looks at what helps people become great teachers in higher education and looking at how that expertise can be better recognised by higher education institutions. Work in this area include the accreditation of institution's professional development programmes, individual recognition for staff who meet the criteria of the UK Professional Standards Framework and a number of different teaching awards including the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme.
The third focus area is institutional strategy and change. This includes working with institutions to draw on their students' experiences to enhance quality, by using results from the national student survey and the HEA's postgraduate surveys. We also offer a series of change programmes which bring together cross-institutional teams to look at strategic change. These programmes include Change Academy, Enhancement Academy and EQUIP.
Funding and support for discipline work
Work at subject level to academics in their discipline communities will remain at the heart of our work. From 2012, this support will be delivered through subject specialists directly employed by or seconded to the HEA. Flexible employment arrangements mean that many academic staff and associates will be based in HEIs throughout the UK.
The programme of subject support will include:
- Increased funding for small grants to support teaching, educational development projects and to stimulate innovation
- Workshops and events at subject and discipline level , on key issues in HE identified by subject communities
- Extension of the Academy's change programmes to departmental and subject level within institutions
- Development of materials and toolkits for use by academics in their teaching, including for example, e-journals, resource banks, short guides and pedagogic support itemsSupport at subject level for initial teacher training for graduate teaching assistants and other new staff
- Subject input into continuing professional development programmes
- Extension of formal links with Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies and subject associations on issues relating to learning and teaching.
"Changes to the structure of the HEA will help to ensure it can inspire, promote and celebrate excellent learning and teaching in higher education, which I know will be welcomed across the sector. Its focus on the three core areas of academic practice development, teacher excellence and institutional strategy and change will give it the flexibility to meet the challenges that higher education will face over the coming years."
Rama Thirunamachandran, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Keele
The HEA has given guidance to Subject Centres on future support (DOC 45KB)