Joint statement on the higher education green paper proposals on teaching excellence
By Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett FRS and Christy McMorrow, president of the University of Sheffield Students' Union.
The University of Sheffield and Students' Union continue to work closely together to develop a high-quality education for students that reflects the academic excellence expected of one of the world's top 100 universities. Our University and Union value, reward and celebrate great teaching and challenge what needs to be improved.
Students are more than customers, they are members of the University, making more than a purely financial investment in their future.
Professor Sir Keith Burnett and Christy McMorrow
The University's investment in teaching and learning facilities and in academic staff has increased dramatically in recent years, as has the focus of our award-winning Students' Union on student academic representation and support.
However, both the University and Union share concerns that the green paper's focus on increased marketisation and regulation could inadvertently damage some of the key values which lie at the heart of the relationship between teacher and student, and that an over-emphasis on metrics such as graduate salary run the risk of obscuring the value of careers which command more modest salaries but which are rewarding to graduates and vital to society.
Students are more than customers, they are members of the University, making more than a purely financial investment in their future. Together we are committed to ensuring that the best teaching and learning – often the result of contributions not only by academics but also laboratory technicians, librarians and specialists in engagement and student enterprise – is more fully understood, and that the contribution of students and staff involved at the coal face properly forms the core of our response to the green paper consultation.
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