NPC today submitted its response to a consultation issued by Universities UK (the body for Vice Chancellors) and the Standing Conference of Principals (the body for principals of higher education colleges) on plans to reform teaching standards in higher education.
While NPC recommends the move to improve teaching standards, and focus on teaching as well as research which has had more than its fair share of attention it is very concerned about the approach. There is no indication in the consultation that it should seek to provide teaching that concentrates on the output where teaching excellence is transparent to the student in terms of feedback they provide for what they have received and whether it demonstrates their own professional development upon graduation. At postgraduate level this is increasingly important where many postgraduates are coming back to higher education with some professional experience and seeking to significantly enhance that with a different view to that of an undergraduate. The diverse nature of teaching postgraduates, be that part time, mature, international or even vocational based requires many important factors to be taken into account.
Another large hole identified by NPC is the fact so many postgraduate research students now deliver teaching higher education. No attention was given to their continuing professional development and how they are playing a vital role in effective delivery. NPC has stressed that existing policy is paid close attention to through the employment charters it has produced with the National Union of Students and the three main lecturers' unions.
To view the consultation you can click here
To view NPC's response, click here