Sample activities of university partners

1. Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is currently piloting the Framework within three of its departments: Computing and Mathematics, Nanotechnology, and Centre of Bachelor Engineering Studies. Starting in January 2016, the Framework has been used to both prepare and assess all appointment and promotion applications for shortlisted candidates in these departments. All candidates at Associate Professor level or above are expected to meet the criteria defined at the ‘Skilled and Collegial teacher’ level of the Framework. Two university points of contact were assigned for the study, one from the university HR function and one from the university teaching and learning unit.
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From the university’s perspective, there are a number of questions that they wish to address during the pilot process. These include:
  • Could the Framework help candidates identify, collect and present evidence of their teaching achievements and (in turn) help promotion committees to make objective and consistent assessments of these achievements?
  • Could the Framework help the university to define and recognise teaching achievement beyond the minimum threshold level, for those who have made more significant contributions to teaching and learning?

  • Could the Framework help promotion/appointment candidates to recognise the different components of university teaching achievement at different stages of their academic career and therefore be better equipped to plan their professional development in teaching and learning?
The first candidates appointed to positions at DTU on the basis of this pilot will take up their posts from spring 2016. The project consultant will visit DTU in September/October 2016 to interview a range of stakeholders involved in the pilots, including appointment/promotion candidates, promotion committee members and university senior managers.
2. University of Twente
The University of Twente has just completed a major cross-institutional programme of change to the bachelor curriculum. To ensure this innovative programme delivers the best possible learning experience for students, the university is seeking to improve its approach to supporting and rewarding teaching excellence amongst faculty and teaching staff. Two key areas of reform are:
  • establishing a more robust and transparent system for defining and rewarding the teaching achievements of faculty during both appointment and promotion;
  • establishing a university-wide Senior Teaching Qualification to support continuing professional development in education.
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In both areas, the Career Framework for University Teaching has been used to structure and define the proposed reforms. The university is now engaged in a process of cross-institutional consultation about the changes and has established pilots within two Faculties: Electrical Engineering Mathematics & Computer Science and Geo-Information Science & Earth Observation. Towards the end of 2017, the project consultant (Dr Ruth Graham) will gather feedback about the Career Framework for University Teaching from those engaged in the pilots as well as from a broader cross-section of stakeholders to the university teaching and learning agenda.

Following discussions with the University of Twente, the Dutch government also is planning to use the Career Framework for University Teaching to support its programme of investment in higher education. Additional investments in higher education from 2018 will give Dutch universities the opportunity to enhance the quality of teaching, including the appointment of significant numbers of new faculty and wider institutional investment education. The Dutch government will also establish a national educational bursary scheme to support innovation and scholarship in university teaching and learning. The Career Framework for University Teaching will inform the reforms under development, helping to structure and guide a unified national definition of university teaching quality.