Higher Education

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 395–406 | Cite as

‘Who do you think you’re talking to?’—the discourse of learning and teaching strategies



As part of the ongoing enhancement and assurance of quality in the UK higher education sector, universities have been required by the Higher Education Funding Council of England to prepare learning and teaching strategies since 1999. As part of an institutional strategy development process, an investigation of currently available strategies was carried out. The research reported here uses a critical discourse approach to analyse a sample of UK learning and teaching strategies. The results show a set of highly impersonalized texts, where staff are largely absent and students are objectified. Such findings raise questions about whether the learning and teaching strategy discourse disengages the very people who ‘make and shape’ policy, thus inhibiting institutional enhancement of learning and teaching practices.


Critical discourse analysis Language and power Learning and teaching strategies Policy implementation Quality assurance and enhancement 



I would like to thank my institution’s Strategy Development Group, particularly Professor Sue Clegg. Thanks also to Dr Chido Mpamhanga, Dr Tim Lewis, Dr Shân Wareing and the two anonymous referees for their useful comments on the first draft of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Education Development UnitHeriot Watt UniversityEdinburghUK

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