A number of countries, including Sweden and the UK, are considering the introduction of compulsory teacher training for higher education (HE) lecturers. This paper assesses whether such a policy is likely to achieve its aims, and the issues that may arise as the policy is implemented. The paper draws on experience with this policy in Norway, empirical research from relevant studies, and on social practice theory to illuminate the processes involved and identify prospects and pitfalls. The paper concludes that while compulsory higher education teacher training may achieve some of its goals, as a standalone policy it is unlikely to achieve them all. Higher education institutions and their staff are involved in multiple games, with competing goals and different rules. Meanwhile higher education policy-making often lacks coherence, with contradictory outcomes in different areas of policy. If policy-makers at all levels are serious about the enhancements to teaching and learning that compulsory training is designed to achieve the policy must be prioritized, properly resourced, and measures taken to develop a hospitable environment for it both structurally and culturally. The paper concludes with some specific proposals to aid educational developers in implementing such policies.
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, International Journal for Academic Development, 10 (2), 2005, © Informa Plc