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Leeds academics recognised for teaching excellence



Two University of Leeds academics have received a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF), one of the most prestigious awards for higher education teaching.

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) today announced that Dr Raphael Hallett, Director of the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) and Dr Sarah Underwood, Director of the Centre for Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Studies, have been made National Teaching Fellows in recognition of excellence in teaching.

The two awards strengthen the University of Leeds’ position as a leader in student education.

National Teaching Fellowships have now been awarded to 24 academics at the University since the scheme began, one of the highest tallies of any university.

The University’s innovative programme of research-based education is committed to developing independent, critical thinkers who make a difference to the world around them.

Dr Hallett said: "The NTF award helps shine a light on the amazing community of educators we have at Leeds, now given fresh prominence by the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence.

“The award is especially satisfying for me since it rewards the experimental curriculum design projects I have been involved in at Leeds, and recognises the value of innovation as a catalyst for improving student learning.”

Dr Underwood added: “Delivering high quality and effective teaching is front and centre in my approach to student education.

"I strongly believe that enterprise education should have a long-term impact on students and, as such, I strive to create learning environments that develop entrepreneurial mind sets that will have value well beyond the classroom.

"National Teaching Fellowships highlight what works in teaching and learning, and I am very happy to have received this recognition.”

Professor Tom Ward, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education said: “The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme is an important national recognition of teaching excellence and achievement.

"The University of Leeds continues to excel in student education and it is with great pleasure that I congratulate our two latest National Teaching Fellows. “

The Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence represents a £3.5 million investment by the University of Leeds to inspire new ideas and practices in teaching and learning.

"The Institute provides funding, time and support for current and future student education leaders to develop their profile at the University and to carry out research and innovation projects with internal and external impact.

Professor Stephanie Marshall, HEA Chief Executive, said, “I am so pleased the HEA has the opportunity to run these awards, and to help to disseminate the best practice they reveal.

"Celebrating great teaching, whether by teams or individuals, is really important and highlights just some of the great work in the sector to improve the student experience. “

The HEA manages the National TFS on behalf of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for the Economy (DfE) in Northern Ireland.

Further information

Dr Raphael Hallett is an Associate Professor in Early Modern History whose areas of educational specialism are interdisciplinary programme design, employability and digital literacy. He works closely with the HEA and JISC in these fields, which include student digital creativity and scholarship.

He has recently led two major projects at the University of Leeds: the design and direction of their new Liberal Arts programme and the design of a compulsory, cross-campus module, ‘Studying in a New Digital Age’, which is the first of its kind in the UK HE sector.

Dr Sarah Underwood is Associate Professor of Enterprise and the University of Leeds’ Programme Director for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, working with high-growth SME owners across the UK.

In 2015/16, Sarah’s innovations in developing enterprise activities for students contributed to the University of Leeds being recognised with the ‘Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship’ and the Times Higher Education ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year award. This follows the 2014 Small Business Charter Gold award.