Beyond CTI Textual Studies: Oxford and the Proposed Subject Centres

1. Background

The CTI/TLTSN Review Committee reported in September (see http://www.niss.ac.uk/education/hefce/pub98/98_47.html). The main recommendations of the Committee were to:

The funding councils have responded to the Review Committee's recommendations by accepting the closure of the CTI and the formation of the new Subject Centres. The Subject Centres will form part of the HEFCE's strategy for teaching and learning, funded from the Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund. The funding councils have entered into a consultation period on the formation of the Subject Centres and their management which ends on December 7th 1998 (see attached).

2. Initial response of CTI Textual Studies to the subject groupings

The Centre was concerned by various aspects of the proposed subject groupings for the new Centres and was encouraged to submit an initial response in September to the HEFCE. The response was in consultation with a number of organisations including associated CTI Centres and the AHDS. The initial response is available at http://users.ox.ac.uk/~mikef/subject-prop.html. The Centre is putting together a more detailed document in response to HEFCE's current consultation exercise. In summary the Centre advised:

This model has been well received by the Centre's advisory committee and we intend to expand upon it in our more detailed response (in consultation with the subject associations).

3. A proposed Subject Centre in Oxford?

Bearing in mind that the final subject groupings and the actual tender process has yet to be announced (early 1999), the CCA is asked to consider the issues which would arise should the HCU decide to lead or be a partner in a bid for a new Subject Centre.

1. In general, is the involvement of the HCU in the bidding for a Centre in accordance with its strategy?

2. Given the wider remit of these Centres (i.e. they are not CTI Centres) would involvement in a bid be in accordance with the University's teaching and learning strategy?

3. Under the current proposal which Centre would be best suited to the University's expertise/strategy?

4. Assuming a Centre for literary studies is created, the HCU would need to identify appropriate partners, particularly with demonstrated teaching excellence. To whom should the HCU be presently talking?

Michael Fraser, CTI Centre for Textual Studies, November 1998