College teachers facing tests

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The Independent Online
ALL NEW university lecturers will have to meet new national standards for teaching, ministers will say today.

They will be expected to join the new Institute for Learning and Teaching, a body set up to regulate standards in British universities.

The institute, the university equivalent of the General Medical Council for doctors, will help administer a pounds 30m-a-year drive to raise the profile of teaching standards in universities.

It will also reward the cream of Britain's university teachers with pounds 50,000 fellowships under a pounds 1m project to raise standards. Only 20 of the prestigious grants will be offered each year, to the most eminent research scholars.

Membership will be voluntary, but ministers will make it clear at the launch today that they expect it to become a normal requirement for new teachers in higher education.

The institute was recommended two years ago by Lord Dearing, who said action to maintain standards was essential after the imposition of pounds 1,000- a-year tuition fees.

Academics will be invited to apply to the institute from today. In order to gain membership, they will have to submit a portfolio of evidence to prove their ability to teach to required standards.