Excellence in Teaching and Learning – Neil Stewart Associates Conference Presentation

I advanced these propositions in yesterday’s address:

1. The student experience in the UK is a victim of its own success. Higher education is reluctant to admit it, but teaching and learning must be constantly re-invented if they’re to remain outstanding.

2. Teaching in higher education matters – probably much more than you think.

3. There are simple tests to assess whether a department or a programme offers an excellent student experience – I gave some examples of what they are.

4. We need to extend and inspire students if we’re going to produce graduates who are resilient and resourceful. That requires a certain kind of teaching.

5. Threats to maintaining the UK’s leadership in university teaching are unnecessary administrative processes and an emphasis on the signs of quality rather than the substance.

6. We have to revitalise the idea of academic scholarship. Effective undergraduate teaching requires a more robust link between knowledge production, scholarship and the student experience.

7. We need more vigorous, belief-driven leadership for teaching by national agencies and governments, as well as in universities.

I’m preparing a feature scheduled to appear in Times Higher Education, July 29 edition, which will be based on my speech. Watch this space for any updates.


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