From STEM to STEAM: Lessons from biomedical and health research

Professor Jonathan Grant

This blog post is an edited version of a speech given by Professor Jonathan Grant to The Culture Capital Exchange at St George’s House in Windsor Castle for a debate on the issue of excluding arts and humanities from the UK government’s ‘STEM’ research agenda. The full speech, and those of other invited speakers can be found on the Culture Capital Exchange website.
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What makes for high-performing research?  The right mix of staff and appropriate leadership

poppicinic - Pixabay

poppicinic – Pixabay

Understanding the factors that enable an academic research department to be ‘high-performing’ is key to identifying ways in which we can do research better, and more effectively. In this blog post we examine the findings from our research, published in November 2015 by the Policy Institute at King’s and RAND Europe, which aimed to isolate the ingredients that make up a ‘high-performing’ research unit.
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Mixed market messages: the cost of reforming British universities

Mixed market messages: the cost of reforming British universities

Jonathan Grant, King’s College London

One thing is clear about the government’s recent proposals to reform higher education: they will shape and sculpt the UK’s higher education system for the foreseeable future – but at what cost?

In its Fulfilling our Potential green paper, published in November, the government set out how it wants to both control the price of higher education, through tuition fees, and determine the quality of teaching through a proposed Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which plans to reward universities with the best quality teaching. The overall objective is to improve the quality of teaching in universities, as well as the esteem associated with teaching, and enhance social mobility. Continue reading

The risks of risk-based approaches: predicting higher education quality with metrics

Flickr - Biking Nikon SFO

Flickr – Biking Nikon SFO

Like many policy areas in recent times, the quality assurance of higher education has faced calls for it to be more ‘risk based’ and make greater use of metrics to predict how Higher Education (HE) providers may perform in the future. The attraction of a risk-based approach is clear: HE providers perceived as low risk by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) are freed from the burden of regulation and allowed to flourish whilst it focuses on ensuring quality in those HE providers it perceives as high risk. But is this currently feasible? In this blog post, Alex Griffiths describes how new research is uncovering the risks of a risk-based approach. Continue reading