UK institutional teaching contexts: policies and practice
This chapter seeks to describe the wider context within which higher education (HE) teaching in the UK occurs. Some understanding of this wider context is vital because academics are not free agents to teach students whatever and however they wish. Teaching takes place within the context of agreed curricula and within UK agreed norms and expectations. Institutions have their own characteristics (e.g. size, subject mix, location) and mission that affect the education they offer. Disciplines too have characteristics and differences about their teaching and learning practices. Such matters are reflected in what is taught, how it is taught, and which students are selected for admission to particular courses, etc. Students also have an effect on what happens because their behaviour affects outcomes and they influence programme development through feedback to staff and teaching committees.