Saturday, 2 November 2013

Further Education in Scotland: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

It may come as a surprise to many that teachers in further education have a set of professional standards that form the basis of initial teacher education, as well as outlining the process for continuous professional development throughout their careers. More troubling, however, is the fact that teachers working within the sector have no relationship with the aforementioned standards and their subsequent professional development is limited to say the least.

The regionalisation of the college sector was preceded by two significant reviews; one that looked into Post-16 Education and Vocational Training in Scotland conducted by Willy Roe, the other a Review of Further Education Governance in Scotland, conducted by Professor Russel Griggs OBE. These publications proposed ambitious plans for the future of the sector. Unfortunately, the Roe Report ignored the opportunity to advocate a pedagogical solution for the development of the FE workforce, failed to mention our professional standards and instead suggested that FE teachers spend half the year working in industry and half the year teaching in colleges. I agree that industry experience can be invaluable to teachers in their quest to offer a contemporary experience for Scotland’s future workforce, however, Roe’s idea of a 50/50 year for FE practitioners may be taking ‘blue sky’ thinking too far.

In contrast, Graham Donaldson’s report into teacher education in Scotland supplied primary and secondary teachers, and those wishing to work in schools, with a clear vision of teacher development for their respective sectors. With mandatory General Teaching Council registration required for all school teachers, bringing with it a robust and rightly demanding set of standards together with a requirement for reaccreditation through ‘Professional Update’, teachers continue to be central to our education system. Why then, do teachers in further education continue to be on the periphery when it comes to post-16 education? Furthermore, Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) aims to provide a more coherent and enriched curriculum for our learners aged 3-18, wherever they are being educated. A learner choosing to transfer from school to college at the age of 16 is unlikely to experience a seamless transition if they enter an environment that fails to offer equal teacher status to that of our primary and secondary peers.  

Regionalisation has also resulted in colleges being forced to employ less qualified staff to meet their curricular needs as many qualified and experienced teachers have simply left the field. Furthermore, teaching staff employed post-regionalisation are only being offered temporary posts. With no security of tenure, how can this impact positively on our learners? The sector requires stability and investment in its workforce. As I mentioned earlier, our professional standards exist and must, therefore, form an integral part of our practice. FE teachers holding the Teacher Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) can, and should, register with the General Teaching Council for Scotland, comply with the GTCS code of conduct, and be subject to ‘Professional Update’. Both Northern Ireland and Wales have chosen to bring further education under the wing of their respective Teaching Councils and Scotland, the vanguard for educational foresight finds itself lagging behind.

Colleges now have ‘outcome agreements’ and such agreements are ostensibly founded on colleges being more efficient. Efficiency in itself is no bad thing; however, it must be linked to the ‘core’ purpose of education-the transformation of lives through learning. If we continue, through a preoccupation with outcomes, with inspecting quality out, rather than building quality into our teaching and learning processes, then we are ignoring the empirical evidence that consigned the former to the wastebasket long ago.

Teaching and learning must be led; therefore, leadership is crucial in developing our pedagogical evolution. Mechanistic structures that offer little in the way of pedagogical career development-instead rewarding commitment and passion with positions predicated on administrative and fiscal order are contrary to the vocational foundation that our profession advocates If we accept the premise that great teachers inspire learners, then we must also accept that great teachers can inspire and develop other teachers.

The Professional Standards for FE lecturers in Scotland’s colleges can be found at:


Tuesday, 16 July 2013


Having read Marilyn Achiron’s blog ‘What’s your strategy for learning’?, I was struck by the enduring link between literacy and performance. Indeed, the majority of gripes that I hear articulated in the staff room stem from our students’ inability to express themselves in meaningful and coherent ways. Another, perhaps more concerning pattern that I have come across, is a lack of desire among students to remediate this problem….the preference for brevity being the ultimate aim. Aspiring to learn more and having the will to take the lead from your teacher must surely be central to any improvement in performance

In her blog, Marilyn asserts that “While PISA cannot firmly establish cause and effect, these results suggest that one of the ways socio-economic advantage translates into better proficiency in reading is by providing more opportunities for students to develop an understanding of which learning strategies are the most effective.” This, of course, is where teachers have a responsibility to develop their own effective strategies to foster desire in their students. We can argue until blue in the face over Gove, Rote learning, knowledge versus skills etc., however, creating an environment where the written word and learning, whilst not necessarily always ‘fun’, can at least appear relevant and worthwhile, is as much a teacher's responsibility as having a plentiful supply of dry-wipe markers. In addition. Marilyn suggests that parents can assist their children by keeping them abreast of cultural and political affairs, and if this was likely to happen in disadvantaged households, I would applaud it. Sadly, this may not be the reality for a large proportion of disadvantages students and I would therefore reiterate the importance of contemporising our lessons and being innovative in our approaches to improving literacy in learning.

As it’s the summer holidays, my blog will, ironically, focus on brevity. I would, however, like to finish off by saying that I constantly find my ‘desire’ to learn is inspired by those who are part of my ‘PLN’ and that ‘teacher agency’ as Mark Priestley asserts, will always be the predominant force in improving the performance of our students.

Marilyn is the Editor, Directorate for Education and Skills at PISA

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Credit Union Enterprise Project wins Scottish Money for Life Challenge Final

WE WON!!!!

As part of our curriculum plan for this academic year, we entered a national competition supporting students to challenge issues of financial capability and literacy in their local community. Details can be found at:

I blogged about the aforementioned project at the beginning of this academic year and provided an insight into how we'd attempted to incorporate the Senior Phase of CfE into our curriculum planning. I hoped that through partnership working, coupled with the promotion of collaborative working, we would see some positive results. It's been challenging at times and some students find it diffcult to engage with this sort of approach. We have, however, taken real strides and we will build on what we have achieved next year; reflecting on our successes and continuing to offer an experience of real value to our learners.

Listed below, as a reminder, are the teaching and learning strategies that we aimed to embed within the course structure. There are obvious links to the SfLLW Framework

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Employability, enterprise and citizenship
  • Thinking

Successful learners

  • The bespoke course includes the use of , a Royal Bank of Scotland scheme designed to improve financial literacy and promote independent living.
  • The following SQA Unit is integrated into the design and delivery of the project: Financial Services: Personal Finance Awareness DM7X 11 (Intermediate 2)
  • Learners are charged with the organisation, management, marketing and operation of the Credit Union with support from tutors and Credit Union Staff.
Confident Individuals
  • Learners are encouraged through activities, research and exposition to fully understand the implications of financial exclusion, the relationship between the lack of financial literacy and social deprivation.
  • The Credit Union ethos is built on community cohesion and civic responsibility
  • The co-operative spirit of the Credit Union is emulated by the independence of the student cohort in developing appropriate strategies for success.
Responsible citizens
  • Ethical issues are explored through the examination of the cause of the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Learners are encouraged, through research and activities, to examine the financial, social and ethical issues that relate to financial products made available to the citizens of Scotland.
Effective Contributors
  • Learners work independently on all aspects of the Social Enterprise activity.
  • An oversight committee monitors all activities of the project. Membership includes four learners, two JWC staff and a representative of 1st Alliance.
  • Learners work on sub-projects, including the use of social media in marketing and promotion.
Finally, a big thank you to all my students-enjoy your success!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Call for a more effective developmental framework for Scotland’s FE practitioners:

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2013 edition of InTuition - the professional journal for IfL members :


It should be noted that Government funding figures have changed since publication. A recent announcement on funding can be seen at:


Call for a more effective developmental framework for Scotland’s FE practitioners:

an international perspective by Kenneth Allen, IfL Member

Further education provision in Scotland is undergoing major change, but with change should come improvement. Care should be taken to ensure that learners benefit from teaching and learning based on an ethos of continuous improvement

The landscape of further education (FE) provision in Scotland is changing, just as it is for our counterparts in England. Change, whether planned or imposed, offers a combination of challenges and opportunities for the FE professional. In order to fully appreciate where we find ourselves, it is important to examine the nature of Scotland’s FE sector and be conscious of what lies ahead.

Since 1993, Scottish colleges have enjoyed incorporated status, removing them from local authority funding and control. Boards of management took over strategic and financial accountability for individual colleges, and a newly formed body, The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) now allocates funds to the 43 colleges on the basis of their measured share of student activity. The funding is based on Student Units of Measurement, which equate to approximately 40 hours of study, weighted to reflect the different costs of running a variety of courses.

However, funding cuts, which the whole UK has experienced, have forced the Scottish government to exercise its devolved educational powers and introduce reform. A recent controversial stand-off in the Scottish Parliament eventually confirmed that the SFC revenue budget for colleges will continue to fall by 1.5 per cent from financial year 2012/13 to 2013/14 and a further 11.6 per cent the year after.

Michael Russell, cabinet secretary for education and lifelong learning, wants to introduce what he believes is much needed reform. He indicated that he wanted to see improvement in:

• how our colleges are funded

• how the sector is structured

• the type of educational and training opportunities colleges provide

• the quality of that provision

• colleges’ accountability

Thus, we are now faced with radical change that, in many ways, is specifically designed to deal with the aforementioned fiscal situation. But will this really improve our FE provision? And, most importantly, will it really put our learners at the centre?

Colleges will, at the end of this academic year, shrink in number from 43 to approximately 13 regional structures. A further government consultation on college governance, the Griggs Report1, has recommended an overhaul of the way in which college management boards are appointed and a tightening up of their responsibility and accountability.

In broad terms, college boards will:

• enter into a regional outcome agreement with the SFC and decide how funding received within the region should be distributed and how efficiencies should be secured

• plan college provision strategically across the region

• provide a focal point for engagement with regional partners

• be held to account by the SFC for delivering the regional outcome agreement

Funding will be directly linked to agreed outcomes, with about 70 per cent targeted specifically at young people aged 16 to 24, which is in line with government policy.

The development of outcome agreements is a complex one, with colleges being asked to negotiate targets in several significant areas.

However, there are five strategic priority areas:

• Efficient regional structures: deliver efficient regional structures to meet the needs of the region

• Right learning in the right place: contribute to meeting the national guarantee for young people, the demands of the region and, where appropriate, the nation

• High quality and efficient learning: ensure that learners are qualified to progress through the system an efficient and flexible manner

• A developed workforce: ensure that learners are qualified and prepared for work, and improve and adapt the skills of the regional workforce

• Sustainable institutions: secure well-managed and financially and environmentally sustainable colleges

A measurement framework, intended as a tool to inform and support regional negotiations, includes many indicators that may have a potential impact on the FE professional. For example, although not necessarily unique to this reform, performance will be measured on aspects such as efficiency savings gained from regionalisation, opportunities for all (age demographic of learners), curriculum provision, retention and achievement, employer engagement, and so on.

Scotland’s inspectorate, Education Scotland, will continue to monitor the effectiveness of Scotland’s colleges through an oft-criticised inspection process. Regrettably, these cyclical reviews come with extensive notice and inspectors rarely see a realistic reflection of the quality of teaching and learning taking place in the classroom. Full reviews and subject specific reviews have tended to be seen as perfunctory and very little actual change takes place.


Learning and teaching for the future

When such far-reaching changes are made to our structures – management and, most significantly, our funding – the teaching professional and, ultimately, the learner, are often regarded as subordinate in favour of the more pressing fiscal imperative. There is no doubt that these new outcome agreements focus on important economic and social priorities. However, can FE practitioners have confidence that they, at the chalk face, will be equipped with the requisite skills and organisational support to deliver on such aspirations? Ambitions for improvement in the quality of provision are laudable, but without proper investment and planning, success in this regard would appear unlikely.

There is no mandatory requirement for FE professionals to be appropriately pedagogically qualified, although most (75 per cent in 2010/11 data: source Scottish Funding Council) hold the Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) which is a Scottish Qualifications Framework level 9 qualification, namely degree level. The qualification conforms to the Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges2. These standards, refreshed through consultation in 2012, highlighted four common themes that emerged in response to the question: what do lecturers, teachers and tutors need to do to prepare for their role in 2020?

These themes were:

• Learners

• ICT • Professional standards and CPD

• Teaching practice and reflection Recommendations have been made that these themes should be given due consideration when planning courses and continuing professional development (CPD) for college lecturers in the future. Particular emphasis is placed on the need for lecturers to be ‘digital practitioners’.


Colleges Scotland and the College Development Network

Colleges Scotland, formerly Scotland’s Colleges, has recently re-branded and now has two distinct roles:

• ‘Colleges Scotland’ will support the FE sector by attempting to influence policy, funding and media representation;

• ‘College Development Network’ will support the sector by providing CPD opportunities, developing learning networks, sharing resources and recognising achievement.

A major concern is that, despite this rebranding exercise, this body is providing nothing new to the sector and, until now, is widely believed to have failed as a support mechanism for the practitioner. One reason for this perceived failure stems from weak college interaction with this body. If colleges did not recognise quality CPD as part of their strategic and cultural identity, then staff simply did not benefit from the opportunities on offer.

Furthermore, many argue that endless seminars, network events and similar initiatives offered to the sector as CPD, do little to improve our practice. Moreover, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, Scotland’s monopolistic awarding body, provides support for the delivery and assessment of its products and this often conflicts with more pedagogical offerings that may be available.

Many staff (myself included) who recognise the importance of CPD, rely on their own personal learning networks (PLNs) such as Twitter, and have joined up with other like-minded teachers to further their development needs. Networks such as have enabled practitioners to share good practice, openly discuss contemporary issues, and develop relationships to promote professional enquiry. In many ways such networks are an indictment of what surely should be ingrained into the fabric of our schools and colleges.

Scotland has retained a General Teaching Council (GTCS3) and further education professionals holding the TQFE are entitled to register on a voluntary basis. A consultation on the need for a professional body for staff in Scotland’s colleges (2004)4 stated that: “it is difficult avoid the implication (from the responses) that there is a general willingness in the sector to explore the idea of a professional body further”.

Additionally, there was support for a mandatory, recorded CPD process. Unfortunately, further exploration did not occur and resistance to mandatory registration mainly emanated from college principals who were anxious that registration would interfere with their freedom to employ and deploy staff in a way that they deemed appropriate. However, this reluctance to standardise professional competence and conduct has led to learners being taught by unqualified and/or inappropriately qualified staff.

The council continues to encourage registration and is currently reviewing the support that is offered to the FE professional. But while the GTCS operates a mandatory register for the compulsory education sector, registration remains voluntary for those teaching in post-compulsory education and training. The GTCS does ensure that all those registered are appropriately qualified, fit to teach and adhere to their standards of conduct.

Additionally, as set out in Public Services Reform (GTC Scotland) Order 20115 and subsequently endorsed by the Donaldson report, Teaching Scotland’s Future: a review of teacher education in Scotland 6, there is a mandatory requirement for registered teachers to record and declare their CPD through a system called ‘Professional Update’ on a five-year cycle. In 2013, there will be participation by the college sector in the piloting of this scheme.

But too many colleges have failed to ensure that their learners are taught by teachers who conform to the rightly demanding standards set by the GTCS. Although no empirical evidence exists, anecdotally, social science graduates teach English, learners with special educational needs (SEN) are taught by unqualified mainstream teachers and accountants teach geography, for example. Colleges have, therefore, sometimes been guilty of putting their commercial and structural priorities before the needs of their learners.

In England, the abolition of its General Teaching Council and a reversal of policy on the mandatory registration for FE professionals with IfL will only serve to diminish public confidence in England’s schools and colleges. Recent developments in both Ireland and Wales will require FE professionals to be registered with their respective teaching councils and it is this consistency in standards across sectors that should influence the future direction for Scotland.

Change should offer the prospect of improvement and, in such a process, care should be taken to address the core purpose of our endeavours: exercising our professional practice in such a way that our learners acquire a desire for knowledge and appreciate the benefits that a quality education has to offer.

Ultimately, engagement is the key to the future of our learning and teaching approaches. Such engagement can only become a reality if our colleges truly embrace development in the way that we continually press our learners to do so. The desire for pedagogical improvement must be manifestly at the centre of everything we do, driven by our values, and led assiduously by senior staff.

I feel I am in danger of providing the reader with nothing more than an educational polemic, and to avoid such allegations I would like to proffer some suggestions for a more effective developmental framework for Scotland’s FE practitioners.

Registration with the GTCS should become mandatory and, with the cooperation of the College Development Network and the Scottish Qualifications Authority, a uniform and non-fragmented strategy should be devised to ensure that our learners benefit from teaching and learning predicated on an ethos of continuous improvement.

I am convinced that building quality into a process will achieve the results that we, as a nation, are so passionately committed to. 


Kenneth Allen

Kenneth has worked in Scotland’s FE sector since 1998. He is employed in a substantive post with James Watt College as a business education lecturer. In his wider professional role, he is the elected FE representative with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), and an experienced external verifier and development consultant with Scotland’s awarding body, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). He is an IfL Member. 



1 Education/UniversitiesColleges/17135/ CollegeGovernanceReview/ FEGovernanceReport

2 03/6519


4 2638-The-Need-for-a- Professional-Body.html

5 contents/made

6 2011/01/13092132/0

Monday, 11 March 2013

Leadership, Autonomy and Change

This post was originally created as a reply to a question posed by Bill Boyd ( and was inspired by recommendations made in  'By Diverse Means: Improving Scottish Education'

Key Question: Is it possible for a collegiate culture to exist in schools if the headteacher is effectively the chief executive of a largely autonomous organisation?

The ‘autonomous’ college has been in existence since post incorporation and, until recently, has remained unchallenged. What colleges have experienced, however, has been a perpetual state of flux…that is a failure to universally agree on a structure that effectively serves the needs of our learners and the resultant cyclical ‘re-structures’ have done little but push us toward the abyss. As I mentioned in my tweet to Bill, autonomy would only be a systemic shift that would need to be followed up by more profound cultural change. Effective leadership and resourcing will always be pre-requisites in the quest for change, however, as Fearghal (@fkelly) asserts, ‘some of us want to go much further’, and here, I would suggest, is where the catalyst for change lies. The visionary teachers of today must be allowed to be the empowered and unencumbered leaders of tomorrow.


Much can be made of “By Diverse Means: Improving Scottish Education”, published earlier this week by the Commission on School Reform, however, one thing’s for sure….it will not be widely read! A bold statement, you may claim, but one I genuinely believe to be true. The more salient question I suppose is, does this lack of engagement in such research matter? I believe it does.

My rationale stems from a believe that, while reports such as these are far reaching in their examination of our education system (there are 37 recommendations!), the average practitioner’s thoughts on such a system will rarely extend beyond their experiential boundaries. Lack of support, time and resources are generally the major criticisms that emanate from the profession, alongside the perennial ‘non-specific’ concerns surrounding ‘lack of effective leadership’. Leadership has become something of a panacea for the education system and, if executed effectively, it can go a long way to creating the right conditions for change. One of the simplest but undoubtedly neglected realities of our time is that managers administer and maintain, whilst leaders innovate and develop. It is exactly this lack of focus on innovation and development that leads teachers into their insular habits. Moreover, if the conditions do not exist to empower leaders, those with the qualities required to be effective will either become victims of perpetual dissonance or will sadly leave the profession.

Bill’s key question was: Is it possible for a collegiate culture to exist in schools if the head teacher is effectively the chief executive of a largely autonomous organisation? My answer is yes, so long as the conditions for collegiality are in place.

Recommendation 27 is a heartening one, in that the Scottish College forEducational Leadership should be established. Hopefully, such an institution will inspire trust and focus on people, and that they will truly succeed in navigating teachers away from the recurring theme of inertia toward a more sustainable future for learners and professionals alike.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

2013: All Change for FE in Scotland

As a member of the Pedagoo community and as a user of twitter as a PLN, I read many informed and passionate writings on pedagogy and the structures that it is practiced within. I refer, of course, mainly to the compulsory education system, a system that employs the vast majority of teachers in Scotland. I have followed with keen interest, both the Donaldson Review of Teacher Education, and latterly the McCormac Review of Teacher Employment. I am, however ,employed within the FE sector, a system anomalous from the compulsory sectors in several ways, for example:
  • It is not a mandatory graduate profession
  • It is not a mandatory registered profession
  • It is has been driven by a deeply flawed funding model (the student unit of
    measurement) SUMs equate to approximately 40 hours of study, weighted to reflect the different costs concomitant with running a variety of courses.
It is, however, charged with almost all of the functions of the compulsory teaching profession.

I have campaigned dilligently that we in FE should be granted the same professional status as all other teaching practitioners. This would, I believe, provide a more seamless transition for learners throughout their education and engender a higher degree of public confidence in the FE system

Further education has had its own share of reviews in the past two years, namely:
  • The Review of Post-16 Education and Vocational Training in Scotland; click to access
  • Putting Learners at the Centre: Delivering our Ambitions for Post-16 Education; click to access
  • Report of the Review of Further Education Governance in Scotland click to access
These three reports have now brought about the most profound shake up of further education in its history, and we now embark on a programme of regionalisation that will have far reaching consequences for the learners and employees of these new entities once established. It should be noted that many of the suggestions made in these reports could have been addressed by the incumbents of the system rather than the profession having to be subjected to such a huge seismic shift. A new funding model based on 'outcomes' will come into force and The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) lists the priorities for the regional outcomes as follows:

Outcome 1 Efficient regional structures:

To deliver efficient regional structures to meet the needs of the region

Outcome 2 Right learning in the right place:

To contribute to meeting the national guarantee for young people, meeting the demands of the region, and where appropriate the nation

Outcome 3 High quality & efficient learning:

To ensure that learners are qualified to progress through the system in both an efficient and flexible manner

Outcome 4 A developed workforce:

To ensure learners are qualified and prepared for work and to improve and adapt the skills of the regional workforce

Outcome 5 Sustainable institutions:

To secure, well-managed and financially and environmentally sustainable colleges

Colleges have been supplied with a template from the SFC that provides more detail and can be viewed here:

Unlike the reviews of compulsory education, the solutions to the troubled landscape of FE are not to be found by addressing and questioning what we do in the classroom, but rather by employing a fiscal overhaul and keeping fingers crossed!

Change should offer the prospect of improvement, and in such a process care should be taken to address the core purpose of our endeavours; exercising our professional practice in such a way that our learners acquire a desire for knowledge and appreciate the benefits that a quality education has to offer. Ultimately, engagement is the key to the future of our learning and teaching approaches. Such engagement can only become a reality if our colleges truly embrace development in the way that we continually press our learners to do so. The desire for pedagogical improvement must be manifestly at the centre of everything we do, driven by our values, and led assiduously by senior staff.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Outbreak of 'new managerialism' infects faculties-2001 or 2012?

Although written in 2001, I cannot add more to this germane article and its prescience for our current concerns.

Post in the Times Higher Education supplement, July 2001

"New managerialism" is emerging as a dominant force in British higher education, according to a two-year study into the running of universities.

A team led by Rosemary Deem, professor of education at Bristol University, has conducted interviews with more than 150 senior academics and administrators from 16 universities and held focus group discussions in a bid to understand what is happening.

"New managerialism" usually refers to practices commonplace in the private sector, particularly the imposition of a powerful management body that overrides professional skills and knowledge. It keeps discipline under tight control and is driven by efficiency, external accountability and monitoring, and an emphasis on standards.

Higher education, with declining public funding, the shift from an elite to a mass system, and the increasing reliance on internal and external controls, is a fertile breeding ground for these practices.

"The imposition of new managerialism has been much studied in public services from health to local government and schools but has been little examined in higher education," Professor Deem said.

Her study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, found that higher education was perceived to be highly bureaucratic with declining trust and discretion. Complaints about greater workloads, long hours, finance-driven decisions, remote senior management teams and pressure for accountability were common.

A head of a humanities department in a pre-1992 university said: "I think the whole intrusive culture means that people are not left to just get on with it in the way that they were. There is perhaps too much monitoring and too much written reporting which is a bit of a dilemma - being asked to implement something while having misgivings about it."

The research found that manager-academics' lives tended to revolve around long hours packed with meetings, mountains of paperwork and email and the search for additional resources. Research was marginalised and there was little time for reflection. The absence of proper reward structures and the lack of adequate administrative support for heads of departments and deans contributed to workloads. Only one third of the sample had received any formal management training.

"Unlike, for example, a sales manager, academics cannot be told what to do," Professor Deem said. "So a great deal of management time is spent negotiating with individuals about their work. This partly explains why things take so long in higher education."

A maths dean from a post-1992 university said he had learnt to think more corporately. "When I first became dean (faculties) were quite frequently seen as competitors... nowadays we tend to think much more corporately, particularly in terms of the different profitability of the faculties. Department X, for example, in this university is generating a surplus of £2.5 to £3 million every year which we see nothing of because it goes to the centre, but it subsidises the deficits in areas like humanities. We decided some years ago that we were not unhappy with that."

Many respondents found the constant monitoring of targets frustrating. One head of department in a post-1992 university said: "You are expected to deliver as far as the directorate is concerned. So, for example, you hit student targets, generate external income, raise the research profile... And at the same time you know from the troops that some of those things are almost impossible to do given all the resource constraints that have been imposed."

According to Professor Deem, academic and support staff not in management roles say higher education has moved towards new managerialism. However, the situation as described by manager-academics contains evidence of more hybridised forms of management. Unlike in the National Health Service where big organisational changes had to be introduced, universities have tended to develop within existing structures.

Some cultural re-engineering of higher education has clearly been attempted, said Professor Deem.

She said: "While public sector organisations have always been combinations of markets, bureaucracies and networks, the reforms associated with new managerialism have exacerbated the contradictions they contain.

"New managerial cultures may have been grafted on in a piecemeal fashion to existing structures and since this has happened in universities, professional power is being incrementally diluted and displaced by ideological new managerialist reforms."