Acronym Buster

Up: Home > Showcase > Advice & Answers

Martin Poulter, The Economics Network, University of Bristol
Last updated February 2008

A-B | C-D | E-H | I-J | L-Q | R-S | T-V

Drowning in TLA's (Three Letter Acronyms)? This list aims to help academics suffering from "acronym fatigue".

For further explanations of acronyms and jargon, we recommend these online sources:

ABS: Association of Business Schools
The Association of Business Schools (ABS) is the sole representative body of the business schools of the United Kingdom. Its membership covers all of the major UK higher education providers of business and management education, at first degree, postgraduate degree, and post-experience levels.
AEA: American Economic Association
As well as publishing journals and providing resources for economists, AEA has an annual conference along with other US-based social science bodies
ALT: Association for Learning Technology
Amongst its many activities in the field of learning technology, ALT publishes the peer-reviewed journal ALT-J and organises the annual conference ALT-C. Its stated aims are to 1) promote good practice in the use and development of learning technologies in higher and further education, 2) facilitate interchange between practitioners, developers, researchers and policy makers in education and industry 3) represent the membership in areas of policy such as infrastructure provision and resource allocation.
BEST: Business Education Support Team (defunct)
Forerunner of BMAF
BIDS: Bath Information and Data Services
BIDS is the best known and most widely used bibliographic service for the academic community in the UK. Funded by JISC, it operates from the University of Bath and provides acces to online journals, bibliographic data and research data.
Biz/ed: Business Education on the Internet
A Web service for Higher and Further Education business and economics teachers and students, providing many learning materials including the Virtual Worlds.
BMAF: Business, Management, Accountancy, Finance
A Subject Centre of the Higher Education Academy
C&IT: Communications and Information Technology
An acronym much used by the Dearing Report into Higher Education.
CAA: Computer Aided Assessment
CAI Group: Computer Assisted Instruction in Economics
CAI (Computer Assisted Instruction) is the American term for what in the UK is called CAL (Computer Aided Learning). The CAI Group of the American Economic Association organise sessions on CAI at the annual AEA conference. Reports from past sessions have appeared in CHEER and are archived at the address below.
CALECO: Computer Aided Learning in Economics
A research group at the University of Portsmouth that gave birth to the CHEER journal
CHEST: Combined Higher Education Software Team (defunct)
Software price negotiation for further and higher education, now undertaken by EduServ.
CHUDE: Conference of Heads of University Departments in Economics
CHUDE was set up by the Royal Economic Society in 1987 in collaboration with the Association of University Teachers of Economics. The purpose is to promote the study and teaching of economics in the United Kingdom. The Conferences comprises the Heads of Economics and related departments and units at universities in the United Kingdom.
DCSF: Department for Children, Schools and Families
Along with DIUS, this was created in June 2007 to replace the Department for Education and Skills
DELNI: Department of Employment and Learning for Northern Ireland
One of the funding bodies for UK Higher Education and related initiatives. Formerly DENI: the Department of Education
DIUS: Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills
Along with DCSF, this was created in June 2007 to replace the Department for Education and Skills
EBEA: Economics, Business and Enterprise Association
Represents teachers and lecturers of economics, business studies and related subjects in schools and colleges throughout the UK. Formerly known as the Economics and Business Education Association.
EDIRC: Economics Departments, Institutes and Research Centres
This is a very helpful alphabetical listing of economics departments in the UK and internationally, also including some government and independent institutions.
EJ: The Economic Journal
Published by the RES, the Economic Journal is among the foremost of the learned journals in economics.
ESRC: Economic and Social Research Council
The UK's leading funding agency for research and training into social and economic issues, awarding over £63 million of grants to researchers and postgraduate students throughout the UK.
FDTL: Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning
The Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning (FDTL) was launched by the HEFCE and DENI in December 1995 to support projects aimed at stimulating developments in teaching and learning and to encourage the dissemination of good practice across the higher education sector.
HEFCE: Higher Education Funding Council for England
One of the funding bodies for UK Higher Education and related initiatives.
HEFCW: Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
One of the funding bodies for UK Higher Education and related initiatives.
IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
This project has been publishing bibliographies since 1952, with the aim of facilitating the flow of scholarly social science information around the world. IBSS has an online service which is free to any member of a UK Higher Education institution. See Caroline Shaw's article in CHEER vol 12 issue 2.
ICT: Information and Communications Technology
A modern replacement for "C&IT"
IDEAS: Internet Documents in Economics Access Service
IDEAS is a service providing information about working papers to the economics profession.
IFS: Insitute for Fiscal Studies
An independent economics research institute based in London.
ILRT: Institute for Learning and Research Technology
The ILRT at the University of Bristol is host to over thirty funded projects at the forefront of learning and research technology. Amongst them are the Economics Network and the Bized and SOSIG internet gateways.
ILT: Institute for Learning and Teaching (defunct)
The ILT was established as a result of the Dearing Report into Higher Education. It was merged with the LTSN to create the Higher Education Academy.
IREE: International Review of Economic Education
An academic journal published by the Economics Network, available on open access.
JEE: Journal of Economic Education
Offers original articles on innovations in and evaluations of teaching techniques, materials, and programs in economics. JEE is published in cooperation with the National Council on Economic Education and the Advisory Committee on Economic Education of the American Economic Association and edited by William E. Becker at Indiana University.
JEL: Journal of Economic Literature
Published by the American Economic Assocation, JEL has a standard classification system for economics research topics, which is used by several web sites to classify links or events.
JISC: Joint Information Services Committee
The mission of the JISC is: 'To stimulate and enable the cost effective exploitation of information systems and to provide a high quality national network infrastructure for the UK higher education and research councils communities'.
JSTOR: Journal Storage project
Provides free access to archives of many academic journals to participating institutions
LTSN: Learning and Teaching Support Network (defunct)
This was merged with the ILT to create the Higher Education Academy.
MIMAS: Manchester Information and Associated Services
MIMAS is a JISC-supported national data centre run by Manchester Computing, at the University of Manchester, to provide the following range of services to the academic community: 1) Flexible on-line access to strategic research and teaching datasets. 2) Access to key bibliographic information. 3) Access to specialist support and training. 4) Access to software packages and large-scale computing resources.
NCT: National Co-ordination Team (defunct)
NSS: National Student Survey
This survey aims to gather feedback on the quality of students' courses in order to contribute to public accountability as well as to help inform the choices of future applicants to higher education.
NTFS: National Teaching Fellowship Scheme
Funded by HEFCE and DELNI and administered by the Higher Education Academy, the NTFS consists of individual Fellowships to recognise excellence in teaching and learning support, as well as project grants of up to £200,000.
OCSLD: Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development
OCSLD is a national centre running courses for academics as well as publishing books and journals.
QAA: Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education was established in 1997 to provide an integrated quality assurance service for higher education institutions throughout the UK. The Agency's main business is to review the performance of universities and colleges of higher education. It does this by visiting institutions to audit their overall academic management, including arrangements for collaboration with overseas partners; and to assess the quality and standards of teaching and learning at subject level.
RES: Royal Economic Society
A professional association which promotes the encouragement of the study of economic science in academic life, government service, banking, industry and public affairs. It also publishes the EJ and hosts an annual conference.
RFE: Resources for Economists
One of the definitive guides to economics on the web, edited by Bill Goffe and currently hosted by the American Economic Association.
SEDA: Staff and Educational Development Association
The professional association for staff and educational developers in the UK, promoting innovation and good practice in higher education. This group publish booklets and host workshops on teaching for university lecturers.
SHEFC: Scottish Higher Education Funding Council
One of the funding bodies for UK Higher Education.
SOSIG: Social Science Information Gateway
Now rebranded as Intute Social Sciences
TLTP: Teaching and Learning Technology Programme (defunct)
TLTSN: Teaching and Learning Technology Support Network (defunct)
UK HE: United Kingdom Higher Education
VLE: Virtual Learning Environment
Software for administering courses over a network, usually private. Many universities have their own VLEs, based on a product such as BlackBoard or Moodle.
VTS: Virtual Training Suite
A collection of web-based tutorials on finding and evaluating internet resources, including the Internet Economist (see the CHEER article).

[This note was originally published in CHEER (Computers in Higher Education Economics Review) Volume 14 Issue 1]

Quickjump to:
Monthly Email Updates
from the Economics Network