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The Academy was established in 2003 to help institutions, discipline groups and all staff provide the best possible learning experience for their students. It is primarily funded by the four UK funding bodies, with support from higher education institutions.

The funding bodies commissioned independent consultants to examine the impact of the Academy on learning and teaching and to inform its future development.

The research found that the Academy had achieved positive impact across a number of its key work strands, including:

  • discipline-based support offered through the subject network
  • national accreditation scheme for development of new and experienced staff
  • emerging value of the approach to evidence-based research
  • the 'Change Academy' programme.

The research also found a number of areas requiring further development:

  • strategic focus - including more effective listening
  • approach to relationship management needs to be a core competence
  • business strategy that is more sophisticated, and is evaluated
  • engagement with individuals and further development of the subject network.

The Academy is using the evaluation findings to inform its strategy and plans going forward. It will report to the funding bodies how it has taken account of the issues raised in the report.