Teaching vs. Research in UK Universities

The Times Higher Education reports on a study of promotion decisions in UK Universities. Among the findings is that research far outweighs teaching in evaluations of faculty seeking promotion. Teaching plays some role in promotion from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer, but even at that level research is weighted more heavily. This section from the article caught my eye:

    One academic, speaking anonymously, said that while teaching and learning criteria were included in their university's promotion policies, they were not aware of anyone promoted on that basis.

    An associate dean for teaching and learning in a traditional university, who also chose not to be identified, agreed there was a "real problem".

    "In my experience, this has a direct impact on the perceptions of academics as to what is most important. Many are ruthlessly prioritising their own research over teaching commitments, even though it is the latter that financially sustains their departments," they said.

Beyond what they say, the fact that these scholars felt that they had to criticize the status quo off-the-record speaks volumes. Not that it is necessarily different in the US. Many institutions claim that excellence in teaching is central to tenure and promotion decisions, but it is far simpler to count the publications on a c.v. than to measure teaching excellence.

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