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January 2004/05
Special initiative
Invitation to bid for funds

Bids should be submitted by midday, Friday 23 April 2004

Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Invitation to bid for funds

This document invites bids for recurrent and capital funds to establish Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Bids are welcome from both HEFCE-funded higher education institutions and directly HEFCE-funded further education colleges with at least 500 full-time equivalent higher education students.

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions
Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges
Of interest to those responsible for: Academic and strategic planning
Reference: 2004/05
Publication date: January 2004
Enquiries to:

Carole Webb
tel 0117 931 7238

Julia Moss
tel 0117 931 7237

David Kernohan
tel 0117 931 7446

Executive summary (read on-line)


[ MS Word 357K | Zipped Word 84K | Adobe PDF 136K | Zipped PDF 119K ]

Bid cover sheet
[ MS Word 134K | Zipped Word 15K | Adobe PDF 19K | Zipped PDF 16K ]

Further information on CETLs and frequently asked questions on the invitation to bid

Executive summary


1. This publication invites bids from HEFCE-funded higher education (HE) institutions, and further education colleges with more than 500 full-time equivalent directly HEFCE-funded HE students, for recurrent and capital funding from 2004-05 to establish Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs).

Key points

2. The purpose of CETLs is to reward excellent teaching practice and to invest in that practice further in order to increase and deepen its impact across a wider teaching and learning community. We encourage institutions to define their own areas of excellence, evidenced by scholarly practice and a successful track record of excellence in teaching and learning outcomes. We invite institutions to demonstrate how their identified excellence is reflected in and advanced by the proposed focus of the CETL.

3. Some £315 million is available to fund CETLs over the five-year period from 2004-05 to 2008-09, including £140 million for capital in the first two years of the funding period.

4. We welcome bids from single institutions and collaborative bids that involve two or more institutions, and that may include other organisations through which teaching is delivered or where learning is applied in professional or work settings. Collaboration may take a variety of forms. All collaborative bids must have a single HEFCE-funded lead institution that takes responsibility for the CETL funds. Guidance on collaborative bids is given in paragraphs 30-33.

5. There will be a two-stage bidding process. The first stage will focus on the case for excellence and the rationale for the CETL's focus; bids that succeed at the first stage will be assessed at the second stage on their business case for developing the area of excellence and increasing its impact on teaching and learning. A summary of bid requirements and assessment criteria is given in paragraphs 64-70. Instructions for submitting stage one bids are at Annex A. Further guidance on stage two bids will be published in April 2004.

6. An assessment panel comprising members of the Quality Assessment Learning and Teaching Committee and senior staff selected from nominations received from institutions as part of the consultation on the CETL initiative will advise the HEFCE Board on the selection of CETLs.

7. We expect to fund more than 70 CETLs, subject to the number, scope and quality of bids received. To achieve the widest possible distribution of bids, we are restricting the number of bids per institution according to the size of an institution's student population (see paragraph 55). In addition to this permitted number of bids, every institution that is eligible to bid may also lead one collaborative bid. Institutions may be a partner in an unlimited number of collaborative bids.

8. Single-institution and collaborative bids are invited at one of three funding levels for recurrent and capital funding (see paragraph 37).

9. All CETLs need to be of a size and scope from the outset to reach a critical mass of students, and will be expected to increase this impact over time. As a guide, we invite institutions to consider a notional minimum ratio of one student to £1,000 of CETL investment as an indicator of the size and 'reach' of the CETL at its inception (see paragraph 38). We would expect this number to grow significantly over the five-year funding period.

Action required

10. Bid applications should be completed taking account of the requirements and guidance in Annex A and sent to Carole Webb at HEFCE no later than Friday 23 April 2004.