University President Professor Riyad Hamzah highlights leadership as key in facing sector challenges
The University of Bahrain (UoB) is celebrating its partnership with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) after reaching a milestone of over 130 staff with HEA Fellowship. This is by far the most HEA Fellows of any institution in the region.
HEA Fellowship recognises a commitment by higher education teaching staff to professionalising their practice and to continuous professional development throughout their career.
UoB is also first institution in the Gulf region to have an HEA accredited programme for the professional development of teaching staff, and it has recently successfully reaccredited the programme. In a new initiative, UoB has also achieved HEA accreditation for its programme for staff who are new to teaching.
Reaccreditation is part of a four year cycle to maintain the integrity and quality of the HEA accreditation process. All HEA accredited programmes are aligned to the internationally recognised Professional Standards Framework (PSF) and staff who successfully complete one of these programmes are eligible for HEA Fellowship.
The University is also an HEA ‘Global Partner’. This means UoB has delegated authority to assess and bestow HEA Fellowship on individuals from other HEA partner institutions in the region yet to achieve their own accredited programmes.
Professor Riyad Hamzah, President of the University of Bahrain, said, “We are delighted to have seen so many of our staff formally and appropriately recognised for their professional development through HEA Fellowship. The newly accredited programme, and the recently reaccredited programme, shows the deepening and strengthening of our commitment to teaching and learning through our relationship with the HEA.
“We knew from the outset that building the capacity for HEA accredited programmes would require leadership, commitment and investment, but the dividend is that we have achieved our goal to build really solid foundations in which our teaching staffs’ professional development can flourish. The key component is the PSF; it means we are benchmarking against a robust and internationally recognised framework. It’s also a source of pride for us that we can bestow Fellowship on staff from other HEA subscribers who attend our accredited programmes.
“Our next steps will include looking at some of the broader challenges facing the sector including employability and enterprise. One the ways to successfully address these issues is to strengthen academic leadership, which is why we are very pleased to be hosting the HEA’s Academic Leadership Programme in November. My message is, if you want to achieve change and enhance curricula and improve student outcomes, invest in leadership!”
The HEA Academic Leadership Programme (ALP) designed specifically for aspiring academic leaders including heads of department, heads of academic sections or their equivalent. The programme moves away from management training practices, toward instilling and supporting greater emphasis on values in alignment with the Professional Standards Framework, supporting the development of leadership and managing change.
Kathryn Harrison-Graves, HEA Head of Global Partnership, said, “UoB has worked really hard to embed a culture of continuous professional development of its teaching staff, and that commitment makes them great partners for us in the region. I am delighted that the University’s long-term strategy is being rewarded through a professionalised staff, recognised and rewarded by HEA Fellowship for their commitment to the student academic experience. And in the immediate future, we are looking to working with UoB to deliver the Academic Leadership Programme.”
Last week saw a record number of 27,000 students register at UoB. The University has also seen a 300% increase in postgraduates joining its programmes.