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New Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs) at The University of Reading – University of Reading

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New Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs) at The University of Reading

Release Date 27 January 2005

people studyingThe Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced today the creation of 74 Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs) to promote excellence in teaching and learning across all subjects and aspects of teaching and learning in higher education. The University of Reading is one of only 16 institutions that will host more than one CETL. Funding of £315 million over five years from 2005-06 to 2009-10 for CETLs represents HEFCE's largest single funding initiative in teaching and learning. The funds received by CETLs will be used to recognise and reward excellent teachers and enable institutions to invest in staff, buildings and equipment to support and enhance successful learning in new and challenging ways. Reading will act as lead institution in two CETLs: one in Applied Undergraduate Research Skills, the other in Career Management Skills. The University will also be a partner in CETLs for Physics and Study Advice. Professor David Rice, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the University, said: "We are tremendously excited about receiving these awards from HEFCE, and the fact that we are hosting not one but two CETLs is testament to Reading's position as an internationally renowned provider of the highest quality education. With this extra commitment from HEFCE, I am sure that Reading will be able to develop even more innovative teaching and learning strategies." The CETL in Applied Undergraduate Research Skills will use the University's unique collections and museums (such as the Cole Museum of Zoology, the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology and the Museum of English Rural Life) and the practice of fieldwork to develop students' research skills. It will help students apply their knowledge and research skills in the wider world – one of the most significant and overarching learning outcomes of a university education. The CETL in Career Management Skills (CMS) will build on the established record of excellence of the University's CMS programme, which enables students to see all the options linked to their degree discipline, consider what sort of careers they want, audit and develop their skills, plus know how to apply effectively for jobs, as well as post-graduate opportunities. Reading's CMS programme has won national awards and has been purchased by 58 HE institutions in the UK and abroad. Commenting on the announcement, HEFCE Chief Executive, Sir Howard Newby, said: "HEFCE's commitment to teaching and learning is demonstrated through this very substantial project which will have a major impact on the learning experiences of students throughout the country at a wide range of higher education institutions. The influence and the impact of the CETLs will go well beyond the individual universities and colleges, and we are very pleased to see so many partnerships involved." The CETLs vary in size and scope. Each will receive substantial recurrent funding, ranging from £200,000 to £500,000 per annum for five years, and a capital sum ranging from £800,000 to £2 million. The 74 CETLs are well distributed geographically and reach across all the main subject areas and involve many aspects of student learning. Their breadth and scope are indicated by the following: · CETLs will be hosted by 54 different institutions, ranging from large universities to higher education colleges and small specialist colleges, widely distributed across England. · 16 institutions will each host more than one CETL. · 19 are collaborative, involving partnerships comprising several HEIs or HEIs working jointly with further education colleges, health, social care and other professional, industrial and commercial organisations to provide new learning opportunities for students. · Recurrent funding will be used to boost career development and promotion opportunities for excellent teachers; strengthen practice-based scholarship and research into learning and teaching and enable CETLs to fund secondments and other exchanges of staff, regionally, nationally and internationally, to support active dissemination and implementation of new knowledge. · Capital will be used to build, refurbish or adapt buildings to support innovative teaching and learning, enable partnerships to function more effectively to support student learning; and provide equipment, enhanced facilities and dedicated venues to foster staff engagement in teaching and learning and improved opportunities for staff-student interaction. End Notes for editors 1. Centres for Excellence were announced in the HE White Paper in 2003. 2. 259 applications were received for the two-stage assessment process, and 105 applications were short-listed for final consideration. Applications were assessed by a peer-based panel, chaired by Professor Madeleine Atkins, Vice-Chancellor, Coventry University, representing a wide range of subject and pedagogic expertise. The majority of panel members were nominated by institutions. 3. A complete list of CETLs and brief descriptions are given on the HEFCE website (http://www.hefce.ac.uk under teaching and learning.) For further information contact: -Philip Walker, HEFCE Press Office, tel 0117 931 7363, e-mail p.walker@hefce.ac.uk -Craig Hillsley, University of Reading press officer, tel 0118 378 7388, e-mail c.hillsley@reading.ac.uk

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