This issue contains articles on:

Empowering Students
‘Empowering students’ is a phrase often bandied about. However, it means many different things and, Lee Harvey and Alison Burrows (Birmingham Polytechnic), debate how serious we really are about giving students control over the educational process and their post-educational lives.

The Seminar
Following on from his article on student essays (The New Academic 1.2), Graham Gibbs (Oxford Centre for Staff Development) now turns his attention to the seminar.

Competence or Competences? Holism or Vocationalism in Higher Education?
Sue Otter (Nottingham Polytechnic) has completed a large-scale study of the outcomes of higher educations. In this article she looks at what is meant by competence.

Franchising and Training in Malaysia: minah birds and major developments
Gina and Alistair Wisker (Anglia Polytechnic and Bedford College of HE) give an account of their trip to Singapore to deliver a participative inservice course for staff in three colleges in preparation for franchise with Anglia Polytechnic.

Turning Art Education Inside Out
The Department of Art and Design’s ‘Artist in Residence Scheme’. John Cockram describes this new component of the Polytechnic of East London’s BA (Hons) Degree Course in Fine Art.

The Student Learning Contract on the HND Packaging Design Course at WSCAD
Seymour Roworth-Stokes (West Surrey College of Art and Design) examines the use of the ‘student learning contract’ at his institution.

Creativity in a ‘Learning Culture’, or the Joy of Asking Questions
Can the processes involved in creating a piece of artwork be transferred to more intellectual activities such as essay writing and project work? Anna Muthesius (West Surrey College of Art and Design) says yes they can.

From Product to Process: negotiated study in art and design
Tom Jones (Birmingham Institute of Art and Design) asks the question most of us would like an answer to: “How can we provide more with less and still maintain quality?”

Teaching Under the Microscope
Chris Osborne (Middlesex Polytechnic) examines the scaled-down ‘teacher-in-training’ activity known as microteaching.

Peer Support for Improved Teaching
As an enthusiastic fan of student self- and peer-assessment, Sally Brown (Newcastle-upon-Tyne Polytechnic) explores how these powerful educational techniques can be applied to teaching.

Classroom Observation and Feedback
Roy Tremlett (South Bank Polytechnic) looks at what is a powerful development tool, both for trainee and experienced teachers.

Consortium Collaboration in Higher Education
David Bridges (University of East Anglia) describes how the Eastern Region Teacher Education Consortium (ERTEC) has shown not only that cross institutional collaboration is possible, but that it brings with it discernible benefits.

Electronic Support for Collaborative Learning
Been put off using Computer Aided Learning? Peter Goodyear (Lancaster University) may have the answer in his very different approach to its use.