Announcing the first University of Wales Teaching Fellowships

Posted on 10 February 2010

Ever been inspired by a great Teacher and wanted them to be officially acknowledged for their dedication? Well, this is what the University of Wales Teaching Fellowships are all about.

The University of Wales is delighted to announce its first Teaching Fellowships have been awarded to Jacqueline Young from Northern College, (NCA), in York, Ruth Matheson from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC) and Ruth Dineen and Annie Grove-White, also from UWIC.

The aim of these Fellowships, which are worth £5,000 each, is to raise the profile of learning and teaching and to encourage good practice in the Institutions that award University of Wales degrees and its overseas Collaborative Partner Institutions. The University of Wales Fellowships recognise and celebrate individuals who make an outstanding contribution to the student learning experience in these institutions.

The University of Wales organised and ran the fellowship scheme using a panel of experts in the field of learning and teaching, who oversaw the development of the awards and the assessment of fellowship applications. Commenting on the importance of the Fellowship Awards, Panel Member, Gabriel Jezierski, Head of Policy and Partnerships, (Wales and Northern Ireland), for the Higher Education Academy said:

“It’s essential to recognise excellence in teaching and schemes such as the University of Wales Teaching Fellowships are very important.”

The awards may be used for the personal and/or professional development in aspects of learning and teaching, all of which must broadly be within the theme of Enhancement and/or sharing good practice.

Jacqueline Young is currently Course Director for the MSc in Nutritional Therapy at the Northern College (NCA), York, which offers University of Wales validated schemes of study. She is also responsible for teaching reflective practice at various institutions and active in promoting and supervising clinical research. She is particularly interested in enhancing student engagement and in improving provision for students with learning differences.

Jacqueline will use her University of Wales Teaching Fellowship to look at ways of facilitating links between teaching and research and fostering research-mindedness amongst students. She will also use the Award to examine best practice for the teaching and learning of reflective practice skills as well as supporting and facilitating learning for students with learning differences such as  dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit disorders (ADD). Jacqueline plans to produce some guidelines and resources that could be shared across institutions with particular reference to their validated courses in complementary medicine.

 Ruth Matheson, who also received a Fellowship Award is a Senior Lecturer within the Learning and Teaching Development Unit, UWIC. She is responsible for the promotion of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) across the institution. Since joining UWIC in May 2008, Ruth has developed a website to promote CPD, providing tools and resources to help staff.  Ruth is managing 10 projects across UWIC aimed at enhancing learning and teaching through embedding technology.

Ruth will use her Fellowship Award to create an on-line Problem Based Learning (PBL)/Inquiry-based learning network for Wales. This would promote collaboration across Welsh institutions and would also provide an opportunity to showcase the best of Wales to the world. By providing examples of current practice as an open resource, Ruth hopes that more academic staff will consider this teaching methodology as an option and that it will serve to promote discussion amongst the higher education community in Wales and beyond.

Ruth Dineen and Annie Grove-White won the Fellowship Award as a team. Ruth is currently Principal Lecturer on the BA Graphic Communication Programme in UWIC and Annie is a Principal Lecturer on the BA Graphic Communication Programme and is the Director of Student Development at Cardiff School of Art and Design (UWIC).

Ruth’s main research field is in the promotion of creativity in education on an international platform. She has undertaken a comparative action research project into creative teaching with colleagues from Sichuan Institute in China where she is an Honorary Professor. 

Ruth and Annie also facilitated a dynamic seminar in 2009 with over 20 academics from HE and FE art, media and design institutions in Wales to promote teaching and teaching creativity through the establishment of a Centre for Creative Pedagogy in Art, Media and Design in Wales.

Annie Grove White began her career as a Lecturer in Historical and Critical Studies. Her attention  has now moved to the practice of and theory behind teaching. Annie’s currently working with Ruth on the effectiveness of audio assessment in comparison to written feedback in the art and design context.

Ruth and Annie will use their Fellowship Award to support them in establishing a sustainable Welsh Centre for Creative Pedagogy that embraces all Higher Education Institutes in Wales as participants and contributors. Their initial focus is on Art, Media and Design, and the award will be partly used towards launching the Centre at a Conference in September 2010.

Nigel Palastanga, Pro Vic e-Chancellor for the University of Wales said:

“I was a judge on the national teaching fellowship scheme for many years and it was always frustrating that Wales never joined it. This new initiative will help compensate and when it’s running fully next year, there will be ten £5,000 fellowships available. In these times of cuts in higher education, the University of Wales is investing in enhancing and rewarding excellent teaching.”

The University of Wales now looks forward to publishing the outcome of the recipients’ research and to hear more about their work at one of our future Conferences. 

/Ends

For press and media information including photographs of the Fellowship recipients, please contact Joanna Davies, Head of Communications, University of Wales: media@wales.ac.uk 07534 228754.

For more information about the Teaching Fellowships, please contact: w.chow@wales.ac.uk or visit: http://www.wales.ac.uk/en/Scholarships/TeachingFellowships/TeachingFellowships.asp
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