The HEFCE has committed £8 million over the next two years to the Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning (FDTL), a new initiative aimed at stimulating developments and promoting good practice across the higher education sector.
This is the first time that the Council has linked the results of its quality assessment process to its allocation of funds to the sector. Only institutions judged to be providing high quality education were eligible to bid for project funds.
Forty-four projects are being supported under phase one, which covers the 15 subjects assessed by the Council between summer 1993 and spring 1995. They were selected from 192 original applications, 72 of which made a second-stage bid. Nearly half the successful projects involve consortium arrangements between two or more institutions.
A list of projects and contact names can be accessed electronically at http://www.hefce.ac.uk/initiat.htm. Full details will be published in October 1996.
Phase two of the FDTL will cover the eight subjects assessed between April 1995 and September 1996. A circular inviting bids will issue in December 1996, and funding will begin in October 1997.
The following examples demonstrate the range of approaches being adopted by FDTL projects:
- A project involving a consortium of chemistry departments led by the University of Hull will bring together the academic membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the organisation for Heads of Chemistry Departments, and the Network for Chemistry Teaching. It aims to disseminate good practice in teaching and learning identified in the quality assessment reports; and to help chemistry students develop the intellectual, scientific and professional skills needed to make the most effective use of their knowledge.
- The University of Huddersfield is leading a project in computer science, with a consortium of institutions, which aims to improve student learning through placements on sandwich courses. The aim is to integrate supervised work experience into the curriculum, and to provide materials that will help institutions manage the placements effectively. These will cover preparing the students, monitoring, student assessment, and liaising with and supporting placement providers.
- A consortium led by Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education aims to identify and disseminate good practice in the teaching, learning and assessment of Geography. It will produce guidance manuals, disseminated through a national conference and department-based workshops, and set up a database of good practice on the World Wide Web. The project is supported by the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) and the Conference of Heads of Geography in Higher Education Institutions.
Further information about the FDTL is available from the HEFCE by contacting:
FDTL Project Manager,
Bristol BS16 1QD
Telephone: 0117 9317452
Fax: 0117 9317446