Ros Duhs was founding Director of UCL Arena, UCL's accredited CPD Fellowship scheme (2014-2016). Now retired, she is an HEA accreditor and consultant.
When I explained what I did as an educational developer way back in the 1990s, initially people looked puzzled - then pleased. 'Yes,' they said, nodding knowingly, 'about time too! University teaching could do with a bit of improvement!'
Remember that starting point (if you're old enough!) and look at what's been achieved now. New staff who teach and support learning expect to develop professionally.
So this is a well-deserved congratulatory blog to colleagues and Fellows everywhere! Many congratulations to the hard-working Higher Education Academy team. Their resilience deserves recognition. Without them this fantastic achievement would have been impossible. Congratulations to all the accreditors and consultants too. Their work is intricate and time-consuming.
Above all, congratulations to all the Fellows around the globe. Achieving any category of Fellowship requires commitment and focus; Fellows from Associate to Principal learn a lot on the journey towards application. They get the chance to document how they've enhanced student learning and student development in its broadest sense. They're often pleasantly surprised when they take the time to review what they've achieved and comment: "I had no idea I'd done all this!". Gaining a Fellowship is a self-affirming confidence-booster.
My experience of working with Fellowships has been inspiring. The potential of Fellowships to improve student learning across the world is enormous and exciting. The UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) is great and works well for applicants and assessors alike. To me, its strength is that it rests on appealing values of inclusiveness and scholarly approaches to teaching. It's been a privilege to promote these values in a range of settings. My home base has been University College London (UCL) where around 30% of eligible staff now have Fellowships, up from a handful in 2014. Congratulations to all the UCL Fellows in their research-intensive environment and to all the colleagues who've supported them. We still have a long way to go but we're getting there.
Educational development work outside HEA Fellowships also links to the UKPSF Dimensions. My participation in a project to develop eye surgery in West Africa, led by Ian Murdoch (UCL Ophthalmology), is strengthened by the Framework because it foregrounds the context of teaching and learning.
Here's to the next 100,000 Fellowships!
For further information about HEA Fellowship please click here.