The use of the HEA Fellowship scheme within the development and recognition of teaching success across Australasian HE continues to expand with 18 institutional partners across Australia and New Zealand and a growing number of institutions piloting the scheme for their particular contexts. In response to this growth an Australasian version of the very successful HEA Accredited Programme Managers Network was established in 2017. As a peer-supported community of practice, this network in the UK has brought together the leaders of HEA accredited development programmes to share good practice and work together on key challenges such as methods of measuring impact and promoting learning and teaching in research intensive environments
2018 will see the HEA connect these two communities so that the sharing of good practice can take place on a global scale. ‘Our partners in Australasia are doing some really innovative work that the rest of the global Fellowship community will be very interested in’ says Kathryn Harrison-Graves, Head of Global Partnerships at the HEA. “Whether it be reflecting on how Fellowships can be adapted and localised to have impact in a broad range of contexts or exploring the links to promotion and reward, HEA partners in the UK, Australasia and beyond are often considering similar priorities and by facilitating international discussion and connections I really believe we can continue to transform teaching.
At the latest meeting of the Australasian Network in Auckland earlier this month Professor Martyn Kingsbury, Director of Educational Development Unit (EDU) and Director of Educational Development at Imperial College London, talked about Imperial College’s strategy to drive institutional change to balance prestige between research and teaching and how they had utilised the Fellowship programme and their HEA accreditation as a key component of this.
"International recognition and being connected to a global community is important for two main reasons," Martyn explained. "Firstly, higher education is global; we have staff and students from all around the world working in our institutions. It is very useful, particularly with early career academics, if their HEA fellowship has 'worth' that transcends institutional and national boarders. Our institutions are used to thinking of research in this way, the international recognition of Fellowship helps to better 'balance' the relative prestige of research and teaching."
He added: "Secondly, I think the different international contexts lend a useful perspective on our own practice. Particularly when translating the ideas to fit these contexts. I think, for example, the work done in translating the ideas to accommodate the Maori cultural ideas of what constitutes professional excellence in supporting learning provide food for thought for all of us."
Abby Cathcart, Professor of Work and Organisation & Head of QUT Academy of Learning and Teaching, explained that the Australasian HEA Program Managers Network is a key forum for members to share good practice, create new networks of HEA Fellows, and connect with the wider community of accredited fellowship scheme leaders internationally.
Abby said: "There are now 18 institutional subscribers in Australia and New Zealand and the network enables us to harness the collective knowledge of the wider global HEA community to create powerful professional learning environments for our staff and students in Australasia.
She added: "Cross cultural knowledge exchange and professional learning drawing on diverse perspectives are central to the vision we have for the Australasian HEA Program Managers Network. At our latest meeting in Auckland delegates from across Australia and New Zealand learned from Dr Nell Buissink about AUT’s newly accredited fellowship scheme which embeds the Maori concept of ‘manaaki’ throughout the pathway, focusing on nurturing, respecting and caring for people. Our second speaker, Professor Martyn Kingsbury, talked about Imperial College London’s strategy to drive institutional change to balance prestige between research and teaching. The HEA network will help us to create new connections across the world with the shared vision that learning and teaching matters and needs to be nurtured by institutions."
Also present at the meeting was Dr Deanne Gannaway, Senior Lecturer in Higher Education, Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation at the University of Queensland, who explained that: "UQ is a research-intensive university with a proud tradition of research excellence, with a desire to ensure that our students have an equally excellent learning experience.
Deanne said: "In a similar way to Imperial College London, UQ has recognised that one way to enhance the student experience is by placing an increased value on teaching in the academic profile, providing an impetus for engaging with innovative and enhanced teaching practices. Martyn’s talk about how Imperial College was navigating a similar cultural shift towards an increased valuing of teaching and learning was useful. As UQ is in the early stages of HEA partnership, having just submitted our accreditation documentation, it was helpful to learn of broader policy, strategies and activities that supported the implementation of an HEA Fellowship scheme in an environment with a similar research focus and similar ambition. Martyn’s generosity through reporting successes and sharing of challenges has provided a useful touchstone for planning at UQ."
The next event in the UK is on 22 March in Strathclyde and a member of the Australasian network will present to the UK community as we continue to create new connections across the world with the shared vision that learning and teaching matters and needs to be nurtured by institutions.
For further information about HEA Global Partnerships please click here.