‘Teaching excellence’ in Higher Education policy making and leadership

This webinar will contribute to an emerging and more nuanced debate around the nature of ‘teaching excellence’ in Higher Education policy making and leadership in the face of those discourses of ‘employability’, ‘graduate earnings’ and ‘student outcomes’ currently prevalent within the English Teaching Excellence Framework. We will argue that a Social Identity Approach (a psychological meta-theory incorporating social identity theory and self-categorisation theory) is a viable alternative to the currently dominant economic emphasis on the development of human capital as the main purpose of the English Higher Education system. We contend that the Social Identity Approach offers a coherent conceptual framework for regarding students as embryonic citizens and equips Higher Education policy makers, and leaders, with an alternative discursive language that facilitates and allows those in leadership roles to re-imagine and pursue university outcomes for the public good, rather than as merely market place for individualised student consumers. Social justice and an informed citizenry have got to be our goal in HE. Education is not a commodity, but rather it is key to a better world. To unlock the most beneficial future, education must build on an understanding of what is important for ‘us’. ‘Us’ as a society, not a marketplace.