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4:59pm on Tuesday, 26th June, 2018:



It's Cadenza week this week. Cadenza is the name Essex University gives to its scheme by which members of staff are corralled into applying for a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority qualification. This is all about teaching, not about research, and the more of us have the qualification then the higher the university will rank in the Teaching Excellence Framework. I've managed to avoid the past two calls, but signed up this time. It's a useful qualification to have, because it's increasingly used as a requirement for a position in academia; if I went for a promotion, I'd probably need one.

It's scheduled to take a week. We spend from 10am until 4pm in the same room. In the morning, there are presentations by people who have no teaching skills themselves. In the afternoon, we write up sections of the application. The room in question is on a corner and in direct sunlight for the entire day.

As for why I signed up, when asked I replied: "So I can get a job at a university that has air conditioning".

That's the danger of insisting that people obtain qualifications they don't actually need for their own job: they might use them to get a better one.

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