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University of Bradford lecturer awarded prestigious National Teaching Fellowship

Published: Fri 12 Jun 2015

A University of Bradford lecturer has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy, the most prestigious award for excellence in higher education teaching and support for learning.

Simon Tweddell, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice and Curriculum Development Fellow, is one of 55 nationally chosen from over 180 nominations submitted by higher education institutions across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Successful nominees were nominated by their institutions and submissions had to show evidence of three criteria: individual excellence, raising the profile of excellence and developing excellence. The fellowships particularly recognise excellence in teaching, particularly in enhancing the learning experience of students.

The scheme is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland. It is open to staff whose teaching or support roles enhance the student learning experience.

Simon has been teaching at the University of Bradford since 1997 and was instrumental in leading the team that developed a new MPharm programme informed by employers, educational research and best practice.  Simon introduced team-based learning (TBL) to the University in 2012. TBL is a learning and teaching strategy that motivates students to prepare for and attend class, and once there engage them in active, student-centred learning. In TBL, students work in teams solving authentic, real-world problems and in doing so develop transferable skills for the workplace, enhancing student employability.

Simon said: “I’m delighted to have been nominated for, and awarded, a National Teaching Fellowship. I’ve enjoyed working with a great team of people in pharmacy over the years I’ve been there. I’m really proud of the team that developed our new pharmacy curriculum but couldn’t have done it on my own; it was a team effort. I love the way that Team-Based Learning engages students in the classroom. Students come prepared to actively apply their new knowledge to solve problems collaboratively, just as they would in the workplace. They spend all their class time learning how to make knowledge work. There has been a lot of external interest in TBL and we’ve been asked to deliver training workshops at other HEIs and conferences in the UK, Europe and the US. I’m really enjoying spreading the word as Europe’s first TBL consultant-trainer.”

University Vice-Chancellor, Brian Cantor, said: “We are extremely proud of Simon’s achievement in being awarded a National Teaching Fellowship, a fully deserved recognition of his commitment to teaching excellence and adding real value to the learning experience of our students. The University of Bradford has a distinguished record in achieving National Teaching Fellowship success, reflecting our absolute commitment to delivering the highest standards of research-informed teaching that gives our graduates the knowledge and skills to make a real difference in the world.”

The awards will be formally presented at a celebration event to be held at Liverpool Cathedral in October.

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