UWE geography lecturer wins National Teaching Fellowship

Issue date: 08 August 2011


Intrepid geography lecturer Dr Jennifer Hill, from the University of the West of England, has been awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

She was one of 55 lecturers and learning support staff to be honoured with the most prestigious award for excellence in higher education teaching and support for learning.

The winners were chosen from nominations submitted by all HE institutions across England, Northern Ireland and, for the first time, Wales. Each will receive an award of £10,000 which may be used for Fellows' professional development in teaching and learning or aspects of pedagogy.

Jenny is Associate Head of Department (Research & Scholarship) in UWE's Department of Geography and Environmental Management. She says, “As a Chartered Geographer, I am passionate about exploring and introducing new ideas, concepts and viewpoints into the student learning experience. For example, I have produced bespoke video podcasts about exotic ecosystems, filmed at a number of locations worldwide, including Tunisia, Australia, the Caribbean, French Guyana and Brazil, in order to enhance student learning.”

She is committed to integrating research into undergraduate geography programmes at UWE, and has driven curriculum changes that encourage students to engage in research and which inspire staff to creatively integrate their scholarship into teaching. She has written 26 journal articles, three edited books and almost 100 other outputs including the co-authoring of research with undergraduate students after a joint presentation at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) Annual International Conference in 2010.

In her roles on the Geographical Association (GA) Post-16 Committee, Geography Editorial Collective and RGS Higher Education Research Group,Jenny is leading UK initiatives to bridge the divide between geographical pedagogy in schools and universities.

She continues, “I am keen to extend education into informal settings - I served for 10 years as an officer in the Territorial Army and in 2003 was mobilised to Basra, Iraq, where I managed the education of local artisans. This experience demonstrated that education erases ignorance, bringing with it a depth of understanding that transcends divergent cultures and contexts.”

Professor Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive of the HEA said: “I would like to congratulate all of the successful nominees. I have been privileged to meet many National Teaching Fellows across the country and have been inspired by their work and achievements. Their commitment and expertise are an inspiration to academics and students alike across the sector.

“The dedication of the 55 new Fellows is to be applauded and provides further evidence of the high quality innovative practices that students paying fees will increasingly expect to experience in higher education.”

The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme is part of an overall HEA programme to inspire and celebrate teacher excellence. It is funded by the Higher Education Funding Councils for England (HEFCE) and Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland (DELNI).

Along with the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme, the HEA's work in teacher excellence includes the accreditation of institution's professional development programmes and individual recognition for staff who meet the criteria of the UK Professional Standards Framework.

The new National Teaching Fellows will officially receive their awards at a ceremony which will take place in London on Wednesday 5 October 2011.

Profiles of all the 2011 National Teaching Fellows can be found at

http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/detail/ntfs/ntfs_2011_winners

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