Higher Education Academy and Genetics Education Networking for Innovation and Excellence, University of Leicester (2009) Reward and Recognition in Higher Education York UK: Higher Education Academy

Attwood, R. (2009) Pedagogy a poor second in promotion Times Higher Education, December 10

It’s always nice to find something that confirms in a substantive way something we already knew. From the THE news report:

Universities stand accused of hypocrisy this week over their claims to value teaching, after a major study of promotions policy and practice found that many are still failing to reward academics for leadership in pedagogy.

Research by the Higher Education Academy and the University of Leicester’s “Genie” Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning examines the promotion policies of 104 UK universities.

It states that the use of teaching criteria is inconsistent, often absent and not always applied even if included.

Among the institutions that made data available, only a tiny proportion of senior promotions in the nine Russell Group and 1994 Group [older] universities examined include teaching and learning as a significant component: 8 and 9 per cent respectively. For promotions to lecturer or senior lecturer positions, the figures are 26 and 24 per cent.

This compares with 49 per cent at lecturer or senior lecturer level and 41 per cent of senior promotions in the 26 new universities that provided data.

George MacDonald Ross, senior adviser to the HEA’s Philosophical and Religious Studies Subject Centre, said: “Considering how long official inquiries and policy documents have been saying that teaching and research ought to have equal status, it is quite shocking that so many older universities still fail to recognise leadership in teaching for promotion purposes, particularly at the professorial level.

“It is hypocritical for certain universities to say in their mission statements and strategies that they give equal weight to teaching and research, and not to practise this in their promotion procedures.”

Note though that this is a study of UK universities – it’s quite different in North America, isn’t it?!


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