A teaching assessment tying fees to scores is wrongheaded


Government and Institutions

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Press Release

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TEF will further distort university priorities

Commenting on the introduction of a four-tier teaching assessment for universities which will tie fees to scores, Prof Philip Booth, Editorial and Programme Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“There is simply no reliable methodology for assessing teaching. The assumption that assessors know better than others about what constitutes good teaching is misguided, and the process will almost inevitably turn into an expensive box-ticking exercise which universities will attempt to ‘game’.

“Poor results will penalise students as much as university staff as resources will be lost, university reputations undermined and courses closed in response to arbitrary judgments by assessors whose expertise will itself be open to question: few serious academics will volunteer for this work.

“University priorities are already distorted away from teaching by the Research Excellence Framework. It is typical of the government that it should introduce another set of onerous regulatory requirements to try to undo the damage caused by an earlier intervention.

“Instead, universities should be set free from government financing and control and encouraged to set their own priorities, fees and standards, with an institutional stake in student finance which incentivises the production of employable graduates. Universities should serve their students rather than having to adjust their priorities to fit the latest bureaucratic government assessment framework.”

Notes to Editors:

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