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Higher Education Academy

The Higher Education Academy was established in 2003 to:

  • advise on policies and practices that impact on the student experience
  • support curriculum and pedagogic development
  • facilitate development and increase the professional standing of all staff in higher education.

It is primarily funded by the four UK funding bodies, with subscriptions from higher education institutions. It is a single organisation consisting of 25 sites distributed throughout the UK: a head office in York and 24 subject centres located in higher education institutions (HEIs).

Review of impact

In 2007-8 the funding bodies commissioned independent consultants to examine the impact of the Academy on learning and teaching and to inform its future development.

The consultants’ research included interviewing HEIs, further education colleges, other stakeholders and Academy staff, and a survey of Vice-Chancellors. The research found that the Academy had achieved positive impact across a number of its key work strands. These included:

  • discipline-based support offered through the subject network
  • national accreditation scheme for development of new and experienced staff
  • emerging value of the approach to evidence-based research in learning and teaching
  • the 'Change Academy' programme.

The research also found a number of areas requiring further development. These were:

  • strategic focus – including more effective listening
  • approach to relationship management needs to be a core competence
  • business strategy that is more sophisticated, and is evaluated
  • engagement with individuals and further development of the subject network.

The Academy has used the evaluation findings to inform its new strategic plan and work going forward.

Further information

Last updated 9 October 2009