Statement from the Higher Education Academy

Thursday, 3 April, 2014

Over recent months we have been developing our plans to deliver highly focused and evidence-informed projects which will support the sector in our shared drive to inspire teaching to transform learning. We can now confirm we have received the funding to do this.

Our funding, which has been reduced in line with many parts of the sector, has resulted in us bringing forward our existing plans to become financially self-sufficient. (See notes to Editors)

The HEA’s academic practice teams will focus on supporting the sector through two important strands of work to support learner success. These are:

  • curriculum design and innovative pedagogies – what is taught and how it is taught
  • transitions – providing support for students into higher education and prepared for the world beyond. We will support staff throughout their career through continuing professional development

Through this work we will continue to inform and influence policy, work in partnership with institutions to address learning and teaching initiatives, and support discipline communities. We will continue to deliver a first class offer to our subscribing institutions.

The recognition and reward for those teaching in higher education and their continuing professional development will remain at the heart of what we do. We will continue to deliver our core services - recognising individuals and accrediting institutions’ development programmes, as well as providing enhancement tools such as our postgraduate experience surveys.

The reduction in funding means the HEA will restructure to deliver these services efficiently and effectively and has, today, entered a period of formal consultation with staff.

Chief Executive of the HEA, Professor Stephanie Marshall, said: “We have made substantial progress in developing our high level operational plan for 2014-15 and beyond in discussion with our funders. These plans are targeted to meet the needs and challenges of the sector, to develop staff and help students flourish in higher education and to take their place in a competitive world. It is now clear that there is funding to underpin this work in learning and teaching. We will do this through our leadership and expertise. We have a hugely important role to lead on learning and teaching in the sector - influencing policy, rewarding and recognising excellence at institutional and individual level and sharing best practice.”

Professor Sir Bob Burgess, Chair of the HEA and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: “All of us recognise the difficult funding environment, and the need to make a lasting impact. These areas of work are directly focused on meeting the challenges the sector is facing, and I believe the HEA will be well-placed to support enhancement of learning and teaching both now and in the future.”

Our work to become more financially self-sufficient includes delivering bespoke consultancy, which has proved highly valued - and which we do already at home and internationally - and looking for other business opportunities both in the UK and Europe.

Notes to editors:

The HEA’s grant from the Funding Councils, £13.5m in 2013-14, will reduce as follows: by £4m in 2014-15; a further £4m in 2015-16; and it is has been indicated that there will be no funding from the Funding Councils in 2016-17.