University of Gloucestershire receives national recognition for teaching excellence

 The University of Gloucestershire is celebrating further endorsement for its teaching excellence after two announcements by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) today.

Published: 21/12/2016 09:26

The University of Gloucestershire is celebrating further endorsement for its teaching excellence after two announcements by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) today.

The University’s Media School has been shortlisted for a new HEA award - the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) - which recognises teaching excellence and the positive impact on student experience. And Dr David Webster, the University’s Head of Teaching and Learning Innovation and Religion, Philosophy and Ethics lecturer, has been awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship.

This latest news comes three months after the University scored highly for teaching quality in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, ranking 27th out of 123 universities.            
The University has been nominated in the ‘students as partners’ category in the CATE awards which recognises collaborative work in teaching and learning and the creative and innovative practice that benefits the student experience. It is one of just 15 universities to reach the final shortlist, from more than 185 entries from universities across the country.

The nomination was in recognition of the University’s annual Media School Festival in November, which was run by over 50 students alongside teaching and support staff. Now in its third year, the event hosts nationally and internationally-renowned industry practitioners with guests from Sky to BBC and Aardman to Spotify.

The University of Gloucestershire is one of only 44 universities to have achieved National Teaching Fellowships this year. A National Teaching Fellowship is the most prestigious individual award for excellence in teaching in higher education.  Dr Webster is among 55 lecturers and learning support staff chosen to receive the accolade from over 200 nominations submitted this year.

This maintains the University’s outstanding record as being amongst the leading universities for the number of its staff attaining these top teaching awards. Over the 16 years since the scheme was introduced, University of Gloucestershire academic staff have been awarded 17 National Teaching Fellowships, placing it as one of the top universities in the country.

University of Gloucestershire Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Marston, said: “I am delighted with today’s announcements from the Higher Education Academy.  The University of Gloucestershire is committed to providing high quality, innovative teaching and learning for our students.  Our consistent track record in winning National Teaching Fellowships is a tribute to the excellence of our teaching staff.  And the Media Festival is a great example of the breadth of experience we offer our students, building their employability skills by enabling them to hear first-hand from leading industry professionals.” 

Tom Soper, Course Leader for Music Business and lead for the Media Festival at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “We are very happy to be shortlisted for the CATE award, as collaborative working was the ethos of the whole project. We wanted to offer as many opportunities as possible for students to be active contributors to the festival, rather than passive consumers of it. Our aim now is to collaborate across the sector, at a national level, to create a media organisation which students and graduates run.”

Richard Walker, a 2nd year Television Production student at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “These types of experiences are fundamental in creating a media CV. It’s about showing initiative and being active outside your course, which events and opportunities like these create. Experiences such as the Media Festival led to me having a CV bursting full of experience to offer potential employees. In May I was given the opportunity for BBC Camera Operator work experience at the Hay Festival and I spent over a week working as part of a team filming the festival panels for the BBC Arts Online.”

Dr David Webster, Head of Teaching and Learning Innovation at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “I'm thrilled with the award and love teaching at the University. We have a long history of supporting innovative teaching and I’m proud to now be looking after teaching and learning innovation in my new role."

“I have been working with colleagues in other areas, designing a format for online postgraduate course delivery, supporting undergraduates with better on-line and face-to-face teaching practice, working to deliver a range of courses in better and more creative ways."

“The greatest impact for me is through the graduates from the Religion, Philosophy and Ethics course. They are amazing and constantly surprise me and the team with their achievements. I feel privileged to have worked with some fantastic students over the years."