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Lemass, B. & Stace, R. (2010). Towards teaching and research parity: a teaching quality and reward framework. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 14 (1), 21-27.


It is well recognised in the literature that teaching is under-valued in status and financial terms when compared to research at most academic institutions. The emergence in Australia of a Research Quality Framework (RQF) risks further eroding the already fragile status of teaching and learning in Australian Universities by diverting academic attention away from teaching to the building of research reputations as a guarantee of future promotion. Teaching is viewed as not bringing in money, compared to research, despite the fact that the bulk of university income comes from per capita funding of students by the government and from full-fee paying students. The prioritisation of research and prevailing promotion rewards for research output have created disincentives to the development of innovative teaching and learning processes. Workload allocation hours for teaching and learning activities are actively being capped, and our ‘best’ teachers may not necessarily be teaching our most important core subjects. If teaching in Australia is to be valued equally with research, then domestic institutions will need to be more explicit in their recognition, and rewarding, of excellent teaching. The Teaching Quality and Reward Framework (TQRF) outlined in this paper provides a transparent mechanism for academic staff to plan and pursue a career path with a teaching focus (linked to research) that will be valued and rewarded by senior management.

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