This chapter offers an overview of the promises and challenges of teaching and learning in today’s universities. It presents an account of the relationship between prevailing market forces and an increasingly diverse student body, and of the special role university teachers can play in helping their students develop the knowledge, language and skills to become active and successful participants in their academic studies. By drawing on case studies of current university lecturers and students, as well as research findings, the chapter looks at the many ways teaching and learning in universities have changed in recent times and also at how students themselves have changed. Both these changes have profound implications for the experience and practice of teaching in the modern university. Getting a post as a university teacher is a major milestone after years of academic study. But along with the thrill of achievement comes the challenge of finding your way into a complex and demanding role. Here is the experience of Sarah, an energetic, successful young scholar who has taken up teaching for the first time at one of the leading UK universities.
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