Excellent teaching and high quality student support has been rewarded with HEA Fellowships

Fellowship reward of innovative staff development schemes

80 staff at the University have been awarded Higher Education Academy (HEA) fellowships to acknowledge excellent teaching and high quality student support.

40 of these are as a result of the ASPIRE (Accrediting Staff Development in Research-led Education) scheme which is the first of its kind to be accredited by the HEA for all levels of the UK Professional Standards Framework.

Under the ASPIRE scheme, fellowships are awarded at four levels – Associate, Fellow, Senior Fellow and Principal Fellow.  Applicants have to demonstrate their sustained success in delivering excellent teaching and providing high quality student support to an internal assessment panel.

Professor Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), said, “I would like to congratulate all those who have been awarded fellowships. The appointment of the first principal fellows at the University of Exeter is an extremely welcome and significant milestone in recognising the value and status of strategic leadership in teaching.  The HEA has worked very closely with the University of Exeter using the UKPSF as a key reference to design an inclusive approach to accrediting professional development in teaching and learning at all career levels. These awards are not only a recognition of the professionalism and development of individual’s teaching excellence, but significant and tangible evidence of a commitment to teacher excellence across the University and its importance and value for staff and students. The ASPIRE programme is an excellent model of support for the development of staff.”

Dr Dilly Fung, ASPIRE Director at the University and panel chair, said: “The applicants showed a range of innovative ways they ensure that students have the highest quality academically rigorous learning opportunities. The scheme emphasises inspiring students to learn in research-like ways, so they develop the knowledge and skills to become not only leading academics of the future, but also highly successful professionals who can adapt to the rapidly changing demands of the workplace.”

In addition to the ASPIRE awards, 40 fellowships have been awarded through the University’s successful Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP) programme. This course, mandatory for early career lecturers, helps staff develop confident approaches to teaching, curriculum development and assessment, as well as encouraging them to develop in other areas of their academic role, including research. Staff who complete the PCAP are awarded an HEA Fellowship. 

Tash Khan-Davis, Head of Training and Development said: “These two routes to accreditation allow for an inclusive approach to staff development. Whether staff are on academic or professional contracts, and whether they are new to University teaching or highly qualified, if they teach or support students’ learning they can gain recognition for their successful contribution to student education at the University of Exeter.”

The fellowships were awarded at an award ceremony at the University’s annual Teaching and Learning conference on 4 May, held in the University’s innovative Forum. 

Date: 14 May 2012

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