Reporter 461, 12 February 2001

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The Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILT) today acknowledged the support of those HE institutions who have recruited the largest number of ILT members to date.

The top recruiter in the UK is currently the University of Leeds, which has 93 ILT members and a further 33 applications accepted.

The Universities of Paisley and Brighton are close behind with 71 current members (and a total of 102 applications accepted) and 68 members (with a total of 81 applications accepted) respectively. Across the UK, 11 Higher Education institutions have more than 50 staff accepted into membership of the ILT, and a further 35 institutions have between 20 and 50 staff accepted.

Dr Paul Clark, the ILT’s Chief Executive, who will make a presentation to Chris Butcher on 14 December in recognition of the University of Leeds’ support for the Institute, said: ‘It is very encouraging to see the growing level of support for the ILT at institutional level. We are grateful to all those institutions who have actively encouraged their staff to join us and demonstrated their commitment to the importance of learning and teaching. For example, we know that 76% of institutions we have contacted are now paying the processing fee for staff who apply to join, and 35% are paying the full membership fee on behalf of their staff.’

Many institutions are also encouraging their staff to join the ILT with positive statements on their websites and workshops on the application process. For example, the University of Leeds states on its Staff Development website that ‘the ILT offers: a kitemark of experience and expertise in teaching/learning support; membership of a community of learning through which to share best practice and ideas; influence and the chance to shape the direction and services of the ILT; and a performance indicator for external scrutiny.’

Chris Butcher, Principal Academic Staff Development Officer at the University of Leeds, explains that: ‘The University of Leeds’ Learning and Teaching Strategy seeks to enhance the importance of learning and teaching by promoting staff development. It recognises the importance of external accreditation of teaching expertise, which includes ILT membership, and it charges the Staff and Departmental Development Unit (SDDU) to develop pathways to membership and encourages heads of resource centres to set targets for ILT membership. To promote ILT membership, the University has agreed to fund the first year’s fees for the first 400 contracted staff who successfully obtain membership. SDDU organises workshops to assist staff to complete the application forms and hosts a website dedicated to information about, and support for application to, ILT. The University's Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education is ILT-accredited and colleagues completing the course are encouraged to join ILT.‘

Tom Finnigan, of the University of Paisley, says that ‘the University of Paisley supports the aims of ILT in promoting professionalism and disseminating good practice in teaching and learning across the Higher Education sector. The University is committed to delivering quality teaching and learning experiences to all of its students and has actively encouraged and supported staff to seek membership. The large number of staff who have already become members, together with many other applications submitted to the ILT, are a reflection of the importance that the University and its staff place on teaching and learning.’


Notes to Editors

The Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILT) is the first and only organisation of its kind: a professional body for all who teach and support learning in higher education in the UK. It is a fast-growing membership body which aims to enhance the status of teaching, improve the experience of learning and support innovation in higher education. Its principal activities are:

  • accrediting programmes of staff development in higher education;
  • developing individual routes to membership;
  • providing support for those engaged in facilitating learning and teaching;
  • stimulating innovation.

It offers a range of benefits to members, including an annual conference, a newsletter, an international refereed journal (Active Learning in Higher Education), a website with members’-only area and networking opportunities, discounts at ILT events and on a range of publications, and perhaps most important of all, the kudos of membership of a professional body, recognition of an individual’s expertise and the intangible but very important benefit of retaining the formulation of standards of practice where they belong – in the hands of the practitioners.

Further information

For further information, please contact Andrea Rayner, tel 01904 434025, email

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