All Lincoln lecturers to be qualified in teaching by 2016

More than two thirds of teaching academics at the University of Lincoln are qualified to teach, putting them above the region’s average – but staff have admitted there are still improvements to be made.

67% of teaching staff at the university have a qualification that endorses them for teaching in higher education, such as a PGCHE. However, the university’s aim is to have eight in every ten academics become qualified teachers by the end of 2015.

The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from universities across the East Midlands, may come as a surprise to some. The relatively young Lincoln beats some of the more prestigious old guard, including the University of Sheffield, where just 31.9% of teachers are actually trained in teaching, and the University of Nottingham, where 46.5% have the qualifications.

Hull came out worst in the area, reporting only around a quarter of staff were known to hold a teaching qualification, while Sheffield Hallam ranked highest, with almost three quarters of staff fully trained.

In Lincoln, just 53% of tutors in the School of History and Heritage have teaching qualifications, one of the lowest proportions in the University – but this is more than equivalent faculties across the region. Only one in every seven teaching historians at Bishop Grosseteste University have a qualification, while Nottingham, Sheffield, and De Montfort all have only 40% of their historians trained to teach.

On the other end of the scale, all tutors in the School of Agriculture have been certified, and other high scorers include the Schools of Law and Fine & Performing Arts, with 89% and 77% of lecturers trained respectively.

The lowest department across the region was the School of Media and Communications at De Montfort University, where none of the lecturers have a teaching qualification. This is in stark contrast to the same department at the University of Lincoln: 73% of teaching academics in the School of Film and Media have teaching qualifications, and two thirds are qualified in the School of English and Journalism.

Nyasha Takawira, VP Academic Affairs at the University of Lincoln Students’ Union, told The Linc she had already been campaigning on the issue.

“We will work initially with a focus on the College of Science, then the College of Arts,” she said. “Success would be the university reaching its target of 100% of teaching staff qualified in higher education by 2016.

“This is not to say that we are not extremely proud of our current position, especially given that we place higher than other larger and older universities. It is something that we as an SU believe in and have included in our Annual Quality Report, and we are interested in its growth.”

A University of Lincoln spokesperson added: “It is part of our strategic plan to ensure that we are able to deliver inspirational teaching to our students. Part of the way of doing this is by ensuring that our academic staff are appropriately qualified, not just from a research and scholarship perspective, but also from a teaching perspective.

“We have a target in 2015 of ensuring 80% of our academic staff are qualified or Higher Education Academy recognised teachers. The Educational Development and Enhancement Unit is leading on this ongoing project, but is also ensuring that there is a programme of continuous professional development so that our academic staff can remain up-to-date with pedagogical developments and remain professionally refreshed.”

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