Report Published: The Current and Future State of Social Policy Teaching in Higher Education Institutions across the UK

The third SPA-commissioned report on Social Policy teaching in Higher Education Institutions across the UK has now been published. It can be downloaded on the SPA website here (printer-friendly version here). The study was based at the International Centre for Public and Social Policy (IcPSP) at the University of Nottingham.

Building on the previous two reports in 2011 and 2016, this offers a timely opportunity for Social Policy academics to raise concerns and share insights amid a global crisis and during challenging times for the higher education sector.

The current study follows the previous reports in including two main components: a desk-based research which is composed of an audit of social policy teaching provision and an analysis of student numbers; and an online survey. The former aims to collect and collate information on the current social policy teaching provision and student numbers in higher education institutions in the UK. The latter serves to engage social policy teachers in the ongoing discussion of issues in Social Policy teaching and its future development.

In addition to what was covered in the previous studies, this review collects additional information such as EDI characteristics of the survey respondents and includes questions about recent and present concerns, such as the introduction of the Teaching Excellent Framework (TEF), the rapid changes in teaching delivery modes as a result of COVID, and the current call for diversifying and decolonising the curriculum.

This report consists of five parts. After a short introduction, Part Two introduces the research design. Part Three presents the main findings of the desk-based research. This is followed by the online survey results (Part Four). The final part (Five) presents our recommendations as informed by the study.

Read more about the SPA’s support for teaching and learning on our website here.