Professor Ronald Barnett


Ronald Barnett has worked with most of the major national bodies in the UK and many universities both in the UK and around the world.  He possesses particular strengths in academic development both at the strategic level and in running workshops for staff and he brings to bear an unrivalled set of intellectual, managerial, leadership and administrative experience and accomplishments and a rare ability not only to see both the wood and the trees but also to envisage new plantings.  Please do be in touch to discuss your consultancy needs.

In addition to ad hoc small-scale tasks, major commitments have included:



  • St Mary’s University, Twickenham, Middlesex: various advisory and support activities.



  • Higher Education Academy:  Associate, being academic lead for suite of projects on flexible pedagogies.  Wrote major report on the topic – see under ‘Publications’.



  • University of Lincoln: assessment of draft REF return for the Education Group (involving both a report and meetings with the members of the Group and senior staff).



  • LSE/ Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS - in India): an evaluation of an LSE/TISS collaboration (involving a visit to TISS in Mumbai, including to the funder of the collaboration, the TATA corporation).
  • University of Vienna, Austria: Member of review team evaluating work of the University’s Teaching and Learning Centre.



University of Surrey

  • Senior Research Consultant: assisting in developing an agenda around the idea of ‘lifewide learning’ (conducting a small-scale research project, and being involved in the SCEPTrE conference on the topic).



Parliamentary Select Committee – Inquiry into Students and Universities

    • Special Adviser




  • Member of research team and educational consultant to consortium conducting suite of projects on space management in institutions of higher education.  With a colleague, have explored and produced a report on universities’ future space needs.



University of Westminster

  •  (With Professor Gill Nicholls), assisting the University - over 6 months - in developing its programme of pedagogical research projects conducted by members of its staff.

 Missenden Centre for the Development of Higher Education

  • Co-Director of 2-day seminar on postgraduate research degree programmes.




  • Part of consortium looking at relationships between research and teaching (as part of HEFCE’s review of research policy.




  • (with Professor Gareth Williams), ‘scoping study’ on relationships between research and teaching, including literature review.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain

  • Advisory report on taking forward the Society’s new scheme for Continuing Professional Development for its members.



Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILTHE)

  • Member of Coopers & Lybrand team, working up draft corporate plan for the ILTHE.



‘Dearing Inquiry’ into Higher Education

  • National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education (chaired by Sir Ron Dearing): led team analysing the responses to the Committee’s public consultation and wrote ensuing report, which appears as Appendix 1 to the Committee’s Report.

Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh

  • Review for the Department of Occupational Therapy, Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh, of its teaching approaches, observing lecturers’ teaching over a two-day period.  Produced report for the Department



  • Standing Conference of Principals (SCOP)
    • Report for the Council of Management of the SCOP (unpublished): (Svava Bjarnason and Ronald Barnett): 
            HEQC Audit Reports:  A Review and Analysis



     University of the West Indies

    • Design of a teaching quality assurance system.
            Report (unpublished): Assessing Teaching Quality at the University of the West Indies. 

    Committee of Scottish Higher Education Principals

    • Report for COSHEP on the development of teaching quality arrangements in Scotland.


    1994, 1995

    Central School of Speech and Drama

    • Independent Assessor for internal departmental reviews. 
    • In 1995-96, acted as a continuing asessor for the whole of the annual cycle of departmental reviews.



     Higher Education Funding Council for England; Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.
    (£35,000 grant)

    Review of the English and Welsh teaching quality assessment methodologies.

     Report: Assessment of the Quality of Higher Education: A Review and an Evaluation
                    (Bristol, HEFCE).  [The so-called Barnett Report]

    This report led to fundamental changes in the approach to teaching quality assessment in England, in particular, through the adoption of a profiling approach.

    A commentary paper, analysing the consultancy process, and co-written with Professor Gareth Parry, has been published in the literature (2014): see below under Publications (d) ‘Papers in refereed journals’.



     Scottish Higher Education Funding Council

    • Review of the SHEFC teaching quality assessment methodology.      
      Quality Assessment: An Evaluation (Edinburgh: SHEFC)



    Other smaller consultancy activities include:          

    • Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals
    • Cranfield University
    • University of Bournemouth
    • University of Liverpool
    • Northampton University
    • University of Hull
    • Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies, Netherlands
    • University of West London
    • Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
    • Some private companies (eg running workshops)