HEA comment on new HEFCE overview of teaching staff qualifications in Higher Education institutions

Friday, 9 December, 2016

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) has welcomed a new overview of Academic Teaching Qualifications held by staff at higher education institutions in England and published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Commenting on the publication, HEA Chief Executive Professor Stephanie Marshall said:  “The HEA was involved in the project from the perspective of providing greater understanding of the reasons for the improving, but still far from robust, data on Teaching Qualifications returned to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

“We believe that staff who have undertaken accredited training and professional development teaching in Higher Education have a better understanding of how students learn and how best to engage students in their learning. Staff qualified to teach are, in our view, one of the preconditions for excellence in learning and teaching and key to improved student attainment.

“The comparison of HESA data on academic staff with HEA Fellowship data highlighted both the rapid growth of accredited provision in the last few years and, in particular, the increasing number of Associate Fellows. These individuals are not in the main ‘academics’, and therefore not returned to HESA, but do support student learning. This group includes librarians, lab and IT technicians. The comparison provides a revealing insight into the diversification of teaching-related roles in HE.

“We will continue to support institutions in whatever way they need - not least the many institutions now actively setting targets for Fellowship as both an indicator of teaching commitment and an acknowledged contributor to effective teaching practice and student success.”